Chronic pain and self-efficacy: The effects of gender, chronicity, and age



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Texas Tech University


Pain research literature indicates an inverse relationship of self-efficacy (SE) to chronic pain, a higher tolerance and threshold for acute pain in males, and lower SE scores for patients who have had chronic pain for a longer period of time (i.e., longer chronicity). No clear literature trends were found, however, for self-efficacy (SE) and gender, SE and age, or chronicity effects on SE and pain. Moreover, there are no studies of the interaction effects of gender, chronicity, and age on chronic pain and SE. The purpose of this research was to study the effects of gender, age, and chronicity on SE and pain ratings. Results indicated that SE and pain ratings were inversely related, supporting a cognitive-behavioral theoretical view that individuals are active agents in processing chronic pain. Those who engage in conduct and thinking which enhance SE may have less pain perceptions and behaviors. There were no differences in pain ratings across categories of gender, chronicity, or age suggesting that, prior to receiving pain therapy, gender, pain chronicity, and age do not provide a clinically useful means of differentiating among patients for assignment to one treatment protocol versus another.



Self-efficacy, Chronic pain -- Psychological aspects, Pain in old age, Pain -- Psychological aspects