An investigation of the associations between measures of mindfulness and pain catastrophizing

Day, Melissa A., Smitherman, Anna, Ward, L. Charles and Thorn, Beverly E. (2015) An investigation of the associations between measures of mindfulness and pain catastrophizing. Clinical Journal of Pain, 31 3: 222-228. doi:10.1097/AJP.0000000000000102

Author Day, Melissa A.
Smitherman, Anna
Ward, L. Charles
Thorn, Beverly E.
Title An investigation of the associations between measures of mindfulness and pain catastrophizing
Journal name Clinical Journal of Pain   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1536-5409
Publication date 2015-03-13
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1097/AJP.0000000000000102
Open Access Status
Volume 31
Issue 3
Start page 222
End page 228
Total pages 7
Place of publication Philadelphia, PA United States
Publisher Lippincott Williams and Wilkins
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective: Mindfulness and pain catastrophizing are important constructs in pain research, and there are theoretical reasons for suspecting that measures of the 2 constructs should be related in predictable ways. The present study investigated the association of pain catastrophizing (Pain Catastrophizing Scale) with mindfulness (Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire). The Penn State Worry Questionnaire was included to control for confounding of worry; the influence of demographics was explored.

Methods: The participants were 214 undergraduates, who were administered questionnaires via the Internet. Analyses assessed relationships after correcting for attenuation.

Results: The mindfulness scales had intercorrelations with catastrophizing ranging from -0.23 to 0.13; the Non-Judging, Non-Reactivity, and Acting with Awareness mindfulness scales correlated significantly with catastrophizing. However, worry was better correlated (r=0.35) with catastrophizing, and the mindfulness scales were not significantly related to catastrophizing after controlling for worry. Mindfulness scales were significant predictors (P=0.018) of catastrophizing scores in a single-indicator latent variable analysis, and 1 mindfulness scale (Non-Reactivity) contributed uniquely (P=0.006) to prediction. None of the mindfulness scales significantly predicted catastrophizing scores when worry was controlled, but the path from worry to catastrophizing was significant (P=0.048). Sex differences in catastrophizing scores were explained by sex differences on the worry scale (P<0.001).

Discussion: These findings suggest that it is important to assess more general cognitive-emotional constructs, such as worry, when making inferences about the influence of mindfulness or changes in mindfulness upon catastrophic thinking in response to pain.
Keyword Mindfulness
Pain catastrophizing
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Non HERDC
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 3 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 30 Apr 2015, 12:12:45 EST by Melissa Day on behalf of School of Psychology