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Papers of the Week

Papers: 23 Mar 2019 - 29 Mar 2019


Human Studies

2019 May

Br J Health Psychol



Responding to social cues: An experimental paradigm exploring the link between context sensitivity and pain.


Flink I K, Boersma K, Klein-Strandberg E, Linton S J
Br J Health Psychol. 2019 May; 24(2):443-459.
PMID: 30907044.


The term context sensitivity refers to whether a response is in tune with the ever changing demands of the context, while insensitivity is the lack of responding to these cues. To date, we know little about how well patients with pain respond emotionally to changes in the cues provided by the social context, that is, how emotionally context (in)sensitive they are and if this is related to problem severity. The aim of this experimental study was to test a method for determining levels of context sensitivity in individuals with subacute and chronic pain and to explore the link between context (in)sensitivity and pain-related problems. We operationalized context (in)sensitivity as participants' emotional responses (observed facial expressions and self-reported affect) and pain bothersomeness in these contexts and explored the association between these context-(in)sensitive social-emotional responses and pain-related problems.