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20-09-2021

The role of self-evaluated pain sensitivity as a mediator of objectively measured pain tolerance in Native Americans: findings from the Oklahoma Study of Native American Pain Risk (OK-SNAP)

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Auteurs:
Erin N. Ross, Tyler A. Toledo, Felicitas Huber, Parker A. Kell, Natalie Hellman, Joanna O. Shadlow, Jamie L. Rhudy
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Abstract

Native Americans (NAs) are at increased risk for chronic pain. One mechanism contributing to this pain disparity could be personal pain beliefs, which may influence actual pain sensitivity. Thus, we examined whether self-evaluated pain sensitivity (SEPS) mediates the relationship between ethnicity [NAs vs. non-Hispanic Whites (NHWs)] and objectively-measured pain tolerance, and whether catastrophic thinking and pain-related anxiety influence these pain beliefs. 232 healthy, pain-free NAs and NHWs completed questionnaires measuring SEPS, catastrophizing, and anxiety. Objective pain tolerance was also assessed. Results suggested: (1) NAs reported higher levels of SEPS, catastrophizing, and anxiety, (2) catastrophizing may have enhanced anxiety and both catastrophizing and anxiety were associated with higher SEPS, and (3) anxiety and SEPS were associated with lower pain tolerance. A significant bootstrapped mediation analysis suggested NAs experienced higher pain-related anxiety, which may have promoted higher SEPS, that in turn reduced pain tolerance. Longitudinal research is needed to confirm this.

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