Positive Affect Mediates the Relationship Between Pain-Related Coping Efficacy and Interference in Social Functioning

  • Soo Hyun Park
    Address reprint requests to Dr Soo Hyun Park, Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Health Sciences, Yonsei University, 234 Heungup-Myon Maejiri, Wonju, Korea.
    Department of Occupational Therapy, Yonsei University, Wonju, South Korea
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  • Nomita Sonty
    Departments of Anesthesiology and Psychiatry, Division of Pain Medicine, Columbia University, New York, New York
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      Emotional states have been shown to influence resilient behavior in conditions of loss, bereavement, and stress. Positive affect has been associated with better health outcomes, including chronic pain. Extant research suggests that positive emotions help buffer against stress, suggesting that positive emotions provide an important protective and adaptive significance. This study examined the role of positive versus negative emotions in the association between pain-related coping efficacy and interference with social functioning in a sample of chronic pain patients. Mediational analyses revealed that positive emotions partially mediated the relationship between control and coping efficacy and pain-related interference in social activities. Negative emotions were not found to mediate this relationship. Implications for research on the role of positive emotions in chronic pain are discussed.


      The findings from this study demonstrate the mediating role of positive affect in explaining the relationship between pain-related coping efficacy and interference in social functioning in a sample of chronic pain patients. This could potentially assist clinicians who seek to enhance coping efficacy and social functioning in pain patients.

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