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Papers of the Week

Papers: 4 Nov 2023 - 10 Nov 2023


Front Pain Res (Lausanne)



Multidimensional visualization and analysis of chronic pain variables of patients who attended a chronic pain program.


Li YC, Hapidou EG


Psychologically-based chronic pain variables measure multiple domains of the pain experience such as anxiety, depression, catastrophizing, acceptance and stages of change. These variables measure specific areas such as emotional and cognitive states towards chronic pain and its management, acceptance towards the chronic pain condition, and an individual’s readiness to move towards self-management methods. Conceptually, these variables appear to be interrelated to each other, and also form groupings of similar underlying themes. Groupings that have been previously discussed for these variables include positive and negative affect, and improved and poor adjustment. Psychological experience of chronic pain as a whole is mostly understood through conceptually consolidating individual scores across different measures covering multiple domains. A map of these variables in relation to each other can offer an overview for further understanding and exploration. We hereby visualize highlights of relationships among 11 psychosocial chronic pain variables including measures examining physical and somatic aspects, using three-dimensional biplots. Variables roughly form two groupings, with one grouping consisting of items of negative affect, cognition, and physical state ratings, and the other grouping consisting of items of acceptance and the later three stages of change (contemplation, action, maintenance). Also, we follow up with canonical correlation as a complement to further identify key relationships between bimodal groupings. Key variables linking bimodal relationships consist of catastrophizing, depression and anxiety in one grouping and activity engagement in the other. Results are discussed in the context of existing literature.