The threat of predictable and unpredictable pain: Differential effects on central nervous system processing?

Moseley, GL, Brhyn, L, Ilowiecki, M, Solstad, K and Hodges, PW (2003) The threat of predictable and unpredictable pain: Differential effects on central nervous system processing?. Australian Journal of Physiotherapy, 49 4: 263-267.

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Author Moseley, GL
Brhyn, L
Ilowiecki, M
Solstad, K
Hodges, PW
Title The threat of predictable and unpredictable pain: Differential effects on central nervous system processing?
Journal name Australian Journal of Physiotherapy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0004-9514
Publication date 2003
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 49
Issue 4
Start page 263
End page 267
Total pages 5
Editor Judy Waters
Dr. Rob Herbert
Place of publication Australia
Publisher Australian Physiotherapy Association
Collection year 2003
Language eng
Subject C1
321024 Rehabilitation and Therapy - Occupational and Physical
730104 Nervous system and disorders
Abstract Central nervous system performance is disrupted by pain and by the threat of pain. It is not known whether disruption caused by the threat of pain is dependent on the likelihood of pain occurring. We hypothesised that when a painful stimulus is possible but unpredictable central nervous system performance is reduced, but when the pain is predictable and unavoidable it is not. Sixteen healthy subjects performed a reaction time task during predictable and unpredictable conditions (100% and 50% probability of pain, respectively). Group data showed increased reaction time with the threat of pain by 50 ms (95% Cl 16 to 83 ms) for the predictable condition and 46 ms (95% CI 12 to 80 ms) for the unpredictable condition (p < 0.01 for both), but there was no difference between predictable and unpredictable conditions (p = 0.41). However, individual data showed that there was a differential effect in 75% of subjects (p < 0.05 for all) and that there was a greater effect of predictable pain for some subjects and a greater effect of unpredictable pain for others. Reaction time was related to reported anxiety (r = 0.49, p = 0.02 for both conditions). The predictability of a painful stimulus may have a differential effect on central nervous system performance within individuals, but anxiety about the impending pain appears to be important in determining this effect.
Keyword Rehabilitation
Sport Sciences
Reaction Time
Fear
Anxiety
Attention
Noxious-stimulation
Interference
Controllability
Information
Habituation
Performance
Stress
Q-Index Code C1

 
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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 01:56:33 EST