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Effects of validating communication on recall during a pain-task in healthy participants
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work.
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9429-9012
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9462-0256
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5359-0452
2017 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Pain, ISSN 1877-8860, E-ISSN 1877-8879, Vol. 17, p. 118-125, article id S1877-8860(17)30143-XArticle in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Increasing recall of instructions and advice in a pain consultation is important, since it is a prerequisite for adherence to treatment recommendations. However, interference due to pain-related distress may result in poor recall. Whereas there are some indications that recall can be increased by empathic communication that reduces interference, this interesting possibility remains largely untested experimentally. The current experiment aimed at studying effects of empathic communication, and more specifically validation, on recall during a pain test and possible mediators and moderators of this effect.

METHOD: Participants received either validating (N=25) or invalidating responses (N=25) from the experimenter during a pain provoking task, followed by self-report measures of interference (affect, situational pain catastrophizing) and recall (accurate and false memories of words).

RESULTS: As expected, the validated group exhibited higher accurate recall and less false memories following the pain test as compared to the invalidated group. This was partly due to the effect of interference being counteracted by moderating the relationship between pain catastrophizing and recall.

CONCLUSION: These novel results suggest that validating communication can counteract interference due to pain catastrophizing on recall, at least in a controlled experimental setting.

IMPLICATIONS: Good communication by health professionals is of utmost importance for adherence to pain management. The current results expand our knowledge on the effects of pain communication by establishing and explaining a clear link between empathic communication and recall, highlighting the role of pain catastrophizing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Walter de Gruyter, 2017. Vol. 17, p. 118-125, article id S1877-8860(17)30143-X
Keywords [en]
Validation; Communication; Memory recall; Pain catastrophizing; Affect
National Category
Applied Psychology Neurology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-61698DOI: 10.1016/j.sjpain.2017.07.003ISI: 000419851500017PubMedID: 28850364Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85028312094OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-61698DiVA, id: diva2:1156539
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilAvailable from: 2017-11-13 Created: 2017-11-13 Last updated: 2018-03-28Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Communication in the context of acute pain: Persuasion or validation?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Communication in the context of acute pain: Persuasion or validation?
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Historically, the dominating theoretical framework for communication in the context of acute pain is reassurance. An inherent assumption of this framework is that the person in pain needs to have their fears and doubts removed and be educated, or persuaded, that the pain problem is not dan-gerous. This is then thought to lead to a shift in beliefs that later explain future beneficial outcomes

In later years, another communication technique known as validation has started to gain traction in the pain field. This technique focuses on le-gitimizing the thoughts and emotions of pain patients and is instead thought to influence outcomes through better emotion regulation.

The overall aim of this dissertation is to extend current knowledge on effective communication in the context of acute pain. In one observational study a variable supposedly sensitive to shifts in beliefs was observed in a cohort of acute pain patients over the course of the first three months after pain onset. Also, in two controlled experiments we explored the impact of validating communication on pain relevant variables while investigating if this effect was due to improved emotion regulation.

Taken together, this dissertation indicates that validating communica-tion shows promise as a form of effective communication in the context of acute pain, in that it influences both pain catastrophizing and recall. The dissertation does not give support to either changes in beliefs nor emotion regulation being the mechanism of change for effective communication. Thus, this dissertation propose a new model of effective communication based both on previous research highlighting the effectiveness of infor-mation and the research presented in this dissertation, more focused on the role of psychological processes such as pain catastrophizing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro University, 2018. p. 94
Series
Örebro Studies in Psychology, ISSN 1651-1328 ; 39
Keywords
Acute pain, communication, validation, reassurance, expectations for recovery, catastrophizing, recall, misdirected problem solving, psycho-logical flexibility
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-65435 (URN)978-91-7529-239-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-04-20, Örebro universitet, Långhuset, Hörsal 2, Fakultetsgatan 1,, Örebro, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-03-02 Created: 2018-03-02 Last updated: 2018-03-28Bibliographically approved

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Carstens, Johan K. P.Boersma, KatjaSchrooten, Martien G. S.Linton, Steven J.

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