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Papers of the Week

Papers: 4 Mar 2023 - 10 Mar 2023

Pediatric, Psychology

Human Studies

CRPS, Psychological/Comorbidities

2023 Mar 01

J Pain


Distress and resilience narratives within pain memories of adolescents and young adults with complex regional pain syndrome: A multi-method study.


Nimbley E, Caes L, Noel M, Jordan A


A comprehensive understanding of pain memories requires consideration of risk and resilience factors across biopsychosocial domains. Previous research has typically focused on pain-related outcomes, largely ignoring the nature and context of pain memories. Using a multiple-method approach, this study explores the content and context of pain memories in adolescents and young adults with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). Recruited via social media and pain-related organizations, participants completed an autobiographical pain memory task. Two-step cluster analysis was conducted on the pain memory narratives of adolescents and young adults with CRPS (n=50) using a modified version of the Pain Narrative Coding Scheme. Narrative profiles generated from the cluster analysis subsequently guided a deductive thematic analysis. Cluster analysis identified two narrative profiles of Distress and Resilience, with the role of coping and positive affect emerging as important profile predictors across pain memories. Subsequent deductive thematic analysis, utilizing Distress and Resilience codes, demonstrated the complex interplay between affect, social, and coping domains. Findings highlight the importance of applying a biopsychosocial framework to pain memory research, accounting for both risk and resilience perspectives and encourage the use of multiple method approaches to improve understanding of autobiographic pain memories. Clinical implications of reframing and recontextualizing pain memories and narratives are discussed, and the importance of exploring the origins of pain and possible application to developing resilience-based, preventative interventions is highlighted.