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Papers of the Week

Papers: 27 Nov 2021 - 3 Dec 2021


Human Studies

2021 Nov 29

J Pain

Vulnerable Dispositional Traits and Chronic Pain: Predisposing but not Predetermining.


Sambuco N, Mickle AM, Garvan C, Cardoso J, Johnson AJ, Kusko DA, Addison A, Glover TL, Staud R, Redden D, Goodin B, Fillingim RB, Sibille KT
J Pain. 2021 Nov 29.
PMID: 34856411.


Dispositional traits can be protective or contribute to increased vulnerability in individuals with chronic pain. This study aims to evaluate the association between two dispositional trait measures, affect balance style and multi-domain trait groups, with psychosocial measures, clinical pain, functional pain, and experimental pain at two years in individuals with chronic knee pain. The study is a prospective analysis of 168 community dwelling individuals aged 45-85 years old with knee pain with or at risk for knee osteoarthritis. At baseline, affect balance style and multi-domain trait groups were associated with psychosocial measures, clinical pain, and functional status. At the two-year time point, the multi-domain trait groups were associated with the clinical pain measures. Interestingly, individuals with previously demonstrated vulnerable traits showed more variability in dispositional trait status at the two-year time point compared to those with dispositional traits previously demonstrated as more protective. Findings reiterate that dispositional traits are predisposing but are not predetermining regarding pain-related experiences. PERSPECTIVE: Vulnerable and protective dispositional traits are positively and negatively associated with clinical pain and functional limitations respectively. Although considered relatively stable, a 30-50% shift in dispositional traits was indicated over a two-year period. Findings highlight that dispositional traits are modifiable and thus, predisposing but not predetermining for persisting chronic pain.