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Papers of the Week

Papers: 29 Oct 2022 - 4 Nov 2022

Human Studies

2022 Oct 31


The Personification of Chronic Pain: an Examination Using the Ben-Gurion University Illness Personification Scale (BGU-IPS).


Tsur N, Noyman-Veksler G, Elbaz I, Weisman L, Brill S, Shalev H, Rudich Z, Shahar G
Psychiatry. 2022 Oct 31:1-20.
PMID: 36315968.


Relying on anthropomorphism research, Illness Personification Theory (ILL-PERF) posits that individuals living with a chronic illness ascribe human-like characteristics to their illness. Herein we examine the personification of chronic pain using a new measure: the Ben-Gurion University Illness Personification Scale (BGU-IPS). Three samples of chronic pain patients (Sample 1 and 2 are distinct samples sharing similar characteristics, collected in the context of a cross-sectional design, Ns = 259, 263; Sample 3: a 2-waves longitudinal, N =163) completed the 12-item BGU-IPS, and measures of pain and related factors. An orthogonal, two-factor structure was revealed for the BGU-IPS pertaining to negative vs. positive personifications. Negative personification was associated with pain intensity and illness-related distress (e.g., depression and low adjustment to pain). Positive personification was correlated with hope, pain-related sense of control, and low depression. However, positive personification also augmented the associations between negative personification and several risk factors. : Pain personification, particularly as assessed via the BGU-IPS, plays a major role in (mal)adaptation to chronic pain.