The communal coping model of catastrophizing: patient-health provider interactions

Tsui, Patricia, Day, Melissa, Thorn, Beverly, Rubin, Nancy, Alexander, Chelley and Jones, Richard (2012) The communal coping model of catastrophizing: patient-health provider interactions. Pain Medicine, 13 1: 66-79. doi:10.1111/j.1526-4637.2011.01288.x

Author Tsui, Patricia
Day, Melissa
Thorn, Beverly
Rubin, Nancy
Alexander, Chelley
Jones, Richard
Title The communal coping model of catastrophizing: patient-health provider interactions
Journal name Pain Medicine   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1526-2375
Publication date 2012-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1526-4637.2011.01288.x
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 13
Issue 1
Start page 66
End page 79
Total pages 14
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ, United States
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective:  The study sought to elucidate and refine the interpersonal, communicative dimension of the communal coping model (CCM) of catastrophizing. The primary aim was twofold. First, we examined the relations among pain intensity, catastrophizing, and pain behaviors as they function within the patient–health provider relationship. Second, we investigated the role of catastrophizing and pain behaviors in potentially influencing patient satisfaction with the provider, provider attitudes, and provider behavior. Mediation models were examined.

Design:  The study was cross-sectional design with repeated measures.

Setting:  This study was conducted at a university-based family medicine clinic and a private practice rheumatology clinic. Nineteen health providers and 49 chronic pain patients receiving treatment in a medical setting completed the study.

Outcome Measures:  Patient outcome measures included pain intensity, catastrophizing, pain behaviors, and patient satisfaction with the provider. Health provider outcome measures were an assessment of provider attitudes and length of medical exam.

Results:  The patient's level of catastrophizing entering the medical exam significantly predicted the interactive dynamics between the patient and the health provider during the exam and patient satisfaction after the exam. The patient's perceptions of pain and catastrophic thought processes may be interpersonally expressed to health providers via exaggerated pain behaviors.

Conclusions:  Current findings indicate suggestions for refining the CCM. Results suggest that alleviation of catastrophic cognitions may facilitate more effective interpersonal communication within the patient–health provider relationship. Identification of those factors that improve patient–provider dynamics has important implications for the advancement of treatment for chronic pain and reducing the costs associated with persistent pain.
Keyword Catastrophizing
Chronic pain
Communal Coping Model (CCM)
Patient-provider interactions
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 2 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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