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Influence of Depressive Symptoms on Pain Catastrophizing in Healthy Young Adults: The Role of Sadness, Self-criticalness and Pessimism

Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy
Buse Keskindag, Meryem Karaaziz


This study aimed to investigate whether depressive symptoms influence pain catastrophizing and its components, on the basis of (day-to-day) pain types recalled in a healthy sample. Two hundred and twenty-three university students (54.7% female) from Near East University were included (mean age 21.52). In this cross-sectional survey study, participants were asked to complete a Beck Depression Inventory for Primary Care and Pain Catastrophizing Scale. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were performed to determine which of the depressive symptoms affected rumination, magnification and helplessness and overall pain catastrophizing. After controlling the demographic variables (age, sex and socioeconomic level), sadness and self-criticalness influenced rumination (14%) while, sadness, pessimism and self-criticalness together influenced magnification (20%). On the other hand, sadness and pessimism together were the only significant contributors to helplessness (23%). This study found that sadness, self-criticalness and pessimism as depressive symptoms affected retrospective pain catastrophizing (23%) in healthy young adults. Future research is required to understand to what extent depressive symptoms affect pain catastrophizing in the general population.

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