Chronic pain affects nearly 48 million Americans (Haggard, Stowell, Bernstein, & Gatchel, 2008). Established guidelines for pain management encourage the use of personality assessment in chronic pain evaluation (Karlin, Creech, Grimes, Clark, Meagher, & Morey, 2005). In relation to the Big Five personality factors, low Openness relates negatively to treatment success, (Hopwood, Creech, Clark, Meagher, & Morey, 2008), and elevated Neuroticism scores also correlate with increased pain levels among individuals in hospital or rehab settings (Ashgari & Nicholas, 2006; Nitch & Boon, 2004). In contrast to these prior studies, this study identifies correlates in a relatively high-functioning population (college students) to further elucidate the connection between chronic pain and personality. This study compares scores on the NEO-FFI (Costa & McCrae, 1992), the West Haven-Yale Multidimensional Pain Inventory (WHYMPI, Kerns, Turk, & Rudy, 1985), and the Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS, American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists, 2010). Significant correlations were found between Neuroticism, Extraversion, and Agreeableness and select subscales of both the WHYMPI and the PCS. A linear regression of scores showed that Neuroticism was very strongly related to WHYMPI scores. In fact, the WHYMPI scores accounted for 67.9% of variance in Neuroticism. Scores on the WHYMPI also correlated with PCS scores. Helplessness and Overall scores significantly correlated to Life Control and certain positive social support scores. The findings of this study emphasize the need for pain clinicians to incorporate psychological assessments, especially concerning Neuroticism, into their evaluations of chronic pain patients.
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Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
UCF Palm Bay
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Stalter, Juliana, "An exploration of chronic pain experience, coping and the NEO five factors in high functioning adults" (2011). HIM 1990-2015. 1241.