The role of dysfunctional cognitions in the experience of chronic pain
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The relationship between dysfunctional cognitions and various elements of the chronic pain experience, including pain intensity, frequency, duration, disability, and psychological distress were assessed in forty-nine chronic pain patients applying to the Pain Treatment Service of Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. Cognitive factors were assessed with two instruments, the Dysfunctional Attitude Scale and Attributional Style Questionnaire. Results indicate that the cognitive measures were significantly correlated with psychological distress. A multiple regression analysis was performed in which the cognitive measures accounted for 40% of the variance in psychological distress. Results are discussed in light of research on coping with chronic pain, and future implications for research and clinical applications.