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Sensory focusing versus distraction and pain: moderating effects of anxiety sensitivity in males and females

Sensory focusing versus distraction and pain: moderating effects of anxiety sensitivity in males and females

Thompson, Trevor ORCID: 0000-0001-9880-782X, Keogh, Edmund and French, Christopher C. (2011) Sensory focusing versus distraction and pain: moderating effects of anxiety sensitivity in males and females. The Journal of Pain, 12 (8). pp. 849-858. ISSN 1526-5900 (doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpain.2011.01.004)

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Abstract

Although previous research has examined whether the relative effects of distraction and sensory focusing on pain are dependent upon anxiety sensitivity, such research has concentrated primarily on females. Given the increasing emergence of sex differences in pain processing, the current study aimed to examine whether any influence of anxiety sensitivity on coping effectiveness differs for males and females. The sample consisted of 76 healthy adults (41 males and 35 females), all of whom received distraction and sensory-focusing instructions and underwent noxious thermal testing (cold and heat). Results showed that anxiety sensitivity was positively associated with the emotional qualities of cold pain, and that males exhibited significantly greater heat pain tolerance than females. In addition, within males, a significant coping × anxiety sensitivity effect was found for cold tolerance, with distraction superior to sensory focusing only when anxiety sensitivity was high. In females, however, distraction was a superior strategy irrespective of anxiety sensitivity.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: attentional strategies, coping, anxiety sensitivity, sex differences, pain
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Health & Social Care
School of Health & Social Care > Department of Psychology & Counselling
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 13 Dec 2019 11:42
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/6725

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