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Papers of the Week

Papers: 22 Aug 2020 - 28 Aug 2020


Human Studies


Front Psychol


Attentional Patterns Toward Pain-Related Information: Comparison Between Chronic Pain Patients and Non-pain Control Group.


Although the evidence for attentional bias to pain-related information among individuals with chronic pain has been well established, there are a number of inconsistencies in the research that have been observed due to sample characteristics. Therefore, the present study expanded upon previous studies by including patients with a variety of chronic pain conditions and compared a chronic pain patient sample with healthy community sample. We also investigated how pain catastrophizing and other psychological factors in chronic pain patients affected attentional patterns to pain-related information. Forty chronic pain patients from the departments of neurology and rheumatology of an academic medical center hospital and 40 participants without chronic pain from a university that is located in Seoul, South Korea were recruited for the present study. Patients observed pictures of faces displaying pain that were presented simultaneously with faces with neutral expressions, while their eye movements were measured using an eye-tracking system. Independent -tests were conducted to investigate attentional preferences to pain stimuli between the chronic pain and control groups. No significant attentional differences in pain-neutral pairs were found for both chronic pain and control group. A one-way MANOVA was conducted to examine the role of pain catastrophizing on psychological factors and attentional engagement to pain stimuli. No significant results for the attentional bias to pain stimuli among chronic pain patients may indicate that chronic pain patients who have suffered from chronic pain for a long time and have been treated for their chronic pain in the hospital may interpret pain-related information not as threatening. Clinical implications related to use in pain treatment and future research suggestions are discussed.