I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

Papers: 15 Jul 2023 - 21 Jul 2023

Psychology, Sex/Gender/Race, Social Aspects

Human Studies, Neurobiology

Musculoskeletal Pain, Psychological/Comorbidities

2023 Jul 14

J Pain


Race, Ethnicity, and Belief in a Just World: Implications for Chronic Pain Acceptance Among Individuals with Chronic Low Back Pain.


Crouch T, Sturgeon J, Guck A, Hagiwara N, Smith W, Trost Z


Chronic pain acceptance is a psychological process consistently linked with improved functional outcomes. However, existing research on this construct has not considered the role of racial or ethnic background, despite growing evidence of racialized disparities in pain experience and treatment. This study aimed to examine racial differences in chronic pain acceptance, as measured by the Chronic Pain Acceptance Questionnaires (CPAQ), in a multicultural sample of individuals with chronic low back pain (CLBP; N = 137 — 37.2% White, 31.4% Hispanic, and 31.4% Black/African American). We further sought to examine moderating effects of discrimination, pain-related perceived injustice (PI), and just world belief (JWB). Analyses consisted of cross-sectional one-way analyses of variance (ANOVAs) with Bonferroni-corrected post-hoc comparisons, followed by regression models with interaction terms, main effects, and relevant covariates. Results indicated higher scores on the CPAQ for White individuals compared to Black or Hispanic individuals. Significant interactions were noted between race/ethnicity and JWB in predicting pain acceptance, after controlling for demographic and pain-related variables, such that the positive association between JWB and pain acceptance was significant for White participants only. Race/ethnicity did not show significant interactions with PI or prior racial discrimination. Findings highlight racial differences in levels of chronic pain acceptance, an adaptive pain coping response, and a stronger JWB appears to have a positive impact on pain acceptance for White individuals only. Results further confirm that members of disadvantaged racial groups may be more susceptible to poorer pain adjustment, which is the result of complex, multi-level factors. PERSPECTIVE: This study identifies racial differences in levels of pain acceptance, an adaptive psychological response to chronic pain, such that White individuals with chronic low back pain demonstrate higher levels of pain acceptance. The article further explores the impacts of intrapersonal and sociocultural variables on racial differences in pain acceptance.