References of "Van Damme, Stefaan"
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See detailCognitive biases in pain: An integrated functional-contextual framework
Van Ryckeghem, Dimitri UL; Noel, Melanie; Sharpe, Louise et al

in Pain (2019)

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See detailDoes attention bias modification training impact on task performance in the context of pain: An experimental study in healthy participants
Van Ryckeghem, Dimitri UL; Van Damme, Stefaan; Vervoort, Tine

in PLoS ONE (2018)

Attention has been theorized to play a key role in the experience of pain and associated task interference. Training attention away from pain via attention bias modification (ABM) training techniques has ... [more ▼]

Attention has been theorized to play a key role in the experience of pain and associated task interference. Training attention away from pain via attention bias modification (ABM) training techniques has been proposed to improve pain-related outcomes, but evidence is inconsistent. In an experimental study, we investigated the impact of a single session ABM training -using a visual probe paradigm with idiosyncratic pain words- on cold pressor test (CPT) pain experience and task interference by pain. Fifty-eight healthy volunteers were randomly assigned to an ABM training group (N = 28; attending away from pain) and a sham training group (N = 30; no training direction). At pre-training, participants performed a baseline Random-Interval-Repetition (RIR) task and the CPT. Participants reported on sensations they experienced during the baseline CPT. Relevant descriptors were integrated in the visual probe paradigm during the training phase. At post-training, participants completed the RIR task again while experiencing CPT pain. Participants also reported on the extent they attended to the pain and the intensity/unpleasantness of the pain. Results indicated that, in contrast with our hypotheses, ABM training did also not reduce task interference due to CPT pain. Furthermore, ABM training did not change self-reported attending to CPT pain. Finally, ABM training did not reduce CPT pain intensity or pain unpleasantness. Overall, the current study provides no support for the effectiveness of a single session ABM training in improving pain-related outcomes. Future research addressing the conditions under which ABM training improves or fails to improve pain-related outcomes is warranted. [less ▲]

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See detailThe efficacy of attentional distraction and sensory monitoring in chronic pain patients: A meta-analysis
Van Ryckeghem, Dimitri UL; Van Damme, Stefaan; Eccleston, Chris et al

in Clinical Psychology Review (2018), 59

Attentional strategies, such as distraction and sensory monitoring, are often offered to reduce pain and pain-related distress. However, evidence for their efficacy in chronic pain patients is equivocal ... [more ▼]

Attentional strategies, such as distraction and sensory monitoring, are often offered to reduce pain and pain-related distress. However, evidence for their efficacy in chronic pain patients is equivocal. We report a meta-analysis on the efficacy of distraction and sensory monitoring in chronic pain patients, and explore possible methodological and theoretical moderators. The scientific literature was searched for relevant articles, which were coded for methodological quality and several theoretical and methodological moderator variables. Only 10 articles fulfilled the search criteria. Eight studies allowed us to compare distraction with a control condition, two studies to compare sensory monitoring with a control condition, and four studies to compare the effect of distraction with the effect of sensory monitoring. Overall, results indicate that distraction did not differ from control in altering pain experience (k=8; Hedges’ g=0.10, ns) and distress (k=2; Hedges’ g=0.549). Sensory monitoring did also not alter pain experience (k=2; Hedges’ g=-.21, ns) and distress (k=1; Hedges’ g=-0.191, ns). We found no evidence to support the superiority of distraction or sensory monitoring in altering pain compared to control conditions. We offer guidance for future theory-driven research to investigate distraction and sensory monitoring in this largely unexplored field, albeit one replete with methodological difficulties. [less ▲]

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See detailAttentional processing of itch
van Laarhoven, Antoinette; van Damme, Stefaan; Lavrijsen et al

in Psychological Research (2017)

Itch is a prevalent somatosensory symptom thatcan be highly disabling , because it is likely to drawattention and, as a resu lt, may interfere with the perfor-mance of daily activities. Yet, research ... [more ▼]

Itch is a prevalent somatosensory symptom thatcan be highly disabling , because it is likely to drawattention and, as a resu lt, may interfere with the perfor-mance of daily activities. Yet, research experimentallyinvestigating attention to itch is lacking. In this study weaimed to investigate attentional processing of itch usingmultiple behavioral attention tasks. Forty-one healthyparticipants performed (1) a modified Stroop task with itch-related words, (2) a dot-probe task with itch-related pic-tures, and (3) a rece ntly developed somatosensory attentiontask in which the effect of experimentally induced itch onthe localization of visual targets was examined. Addition-ally, a number of self-report questionnaires related tosomatosensory attentional processing were administered.Results indicated that participants’ attention was biasedtoward itch-related words and pictures assessed by meansof the dot- probe and modified Stroop task, respectively. Forthe somatosensory attention task, results showed that itchdid not significantly influence the allocation of attention.However, when taking into account the time course ofattention during the itch stimulus, data suggested thatparticipants tended to disengage attention away during theitch stimulus. This is the first study that indicates anattentional bias for itch, using methods that have previouslybeen validated for other sensations such as pain. In addi-tion, the newly developed somatosensory attention taskmay reflect the time course of attention toward a tonic itchstimulus. [less ▲]

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See detailDo tonic itch and pain stimuli draw attention towards their location?
Van Laarhoven, Antoinette; Van Damme, Stefaan; Lavrijsen, A. P. et al

in BioMed Research International (2017)

Background: Although itch and pain are distinct experiences, both are unpleasant, and may demand attention and interfere with daily activities. Research investigating the role of attention in tonic itch ... [more ▼]

Background: Although itch and pain are distinct experiences, both are unpleasant, and may demand attention and interfere with daily activities. Research investigating the role of attention in tonic itch and pain stimuli, particularly whether attention is drawn to the stimulus location, is scarce. Methods: In the somatosensory attention task, fifty-three healthy participants were exposed to 35-seconds electrical itch or pain stimuli on either the left or right wrist. Participants responded as quickly as possible to visual targets appearing at the stimulated location (ipsilateral trials) or at the arm without stimulation (contralateral trials). During control blocks, participants performed the visual task without stimulation. Attention allocation at the itch and pain location is inferred when responses are faster ipsilaterally than contralaterally. Results: Results did not indicate that attention was directed towards or away from the itch and pain location. Notwithstanding, participants were slower during itch and pain than during control blocks. Conclusions: In contrast with our hypotheses, no indications were found for spatial attention allocation towards the somatosensory stimuli. This may relate to dynamic shifts in attention over the time course of the tonic sensations. Our secondary finding that itch and pain interfere with task performance is in line with attention theories of bodily perception. [less ▲]

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See detailTop-down control over pain in fibromyalgia patients: An experimental study.
Van Ryckeghem, Dimitri; Rost, Silke UL; Van Damme, Stefaan et al

Poster (2015, September)

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See detailAttentional bias to pain-related information: a meta-analysis.
Crombez, Geert; Van Ryckeghem, Dimitri UL; Eccleston, Christopher et al

in Pain (2013), 154(4), 497-510

This meta-analysis investigated whether attentional bias, that is, the preferential allocation of attention to information that is related to pain, is a ubiquitous phenomenon. We also investigated whether ... [more ▼]

This meta-analysis investigated whether attentional bias, that is, the preferential allocation of attention to information that is related to pain, is a ubiquitous phenomenon. We also investigated whether attentional bias effects are related to the methodological quality of the study, to procedural differences in their measurement, or to individual differences in pain severity, pain-related fear, anxiety, and depression. Results indicated that individuals who experience chronic pain (n=1023) display an attentional bias towards pain-related words or pictures, but this bias was of a small effect size (d=0.134), and did not differ from that in control groups (d=0.082; n=1398). No evidence was found for an attentional bias towards pain-related words and pictures for acute pain (d=0.049), procedural pain (d=0.142), and experimental pain (d=0.069). However, research in which attentional bias towards signals of impending experimental pain in healthy volunteers was investigated, revealed an attentional bias of medium effect size (d=0.676). Moderator analyses in the chronic pain group identified important procedural variables that affected the presence and magnitude of an attentional bias towards pain-related words and pictures, that is, type and exposure time of pain-related information. None of the individual difference variables affected the magnitude of the attentional bias. Implications of current findings and future directions are discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailImplicit associations between pain and self-schema in patients with chronic pain.
Van Ryckeghem, Dimitri UL; De Houwer, Jan; Van Bockstaele, Bram et al

in Pain (2013), 154(12), 2700-6

Chronic pain often interferes with daily functioning, and may become a threat to an individual's sense of self. Despite the development of a recent theoretical account focussing upon the relationship ... [more ▼]

Chronic pain often interferes with daily functioning, and may become a threat to an individual's sense of self. Despite the development of a recent theoretical account focussing upon the relationship between the presence of chronic pain and a person's self, research investigating this idea is limited. In the present study we aimed to (1) compare the strength of association between self- and pain schema in patients with chronic pain and healthy control subjects and (2) research whether the strength of association between self- and pain-schema is related to particular pain-related outcomes and individual differences of patients with chronic pain. Seventy-three patients with chronic pain (M(age) = 49.95; SD = 9.76) and 53 healthy volunteers (M(age) = 48.53; SD = 10.37) performed an Implicit Association Test (IAT) to assess the strength of association between pain- and self-schema. Patients with chronic pain also filled out self-report measures of pain severity, pain suffering, disability, depression, anxiety, acceptance, and helplessness. Results indicated that the pain- and self-schema were more strongly associated in patients with chronic pain than in healthy control subjects. Second, results indicated that, in patients with chronic pain, a stronger association between self- and pain-schema, as measured with the IAT, is related to a heightened level of pain severity, pain suffering, anxiety, and helplessness. Current findings give first support for the use of an IAT to investigate the strength of association between self- and pain-schema in patients with chronic pain and suggest that pain therapies may incorporate techniques that intervene on the level of self-pain enmeshment. [less ▲]

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See detailThe predictive value of attentional bias towards pain-related information in chronic pain patients: a diary study.
Van Ryckeghem, Dimitri UL; Crombez, Geert; Goubert, Liesbet et al

in Pain (2013), 154(3), 468-75

Theoretical accounts of chronic pain hypothesize that attentional bias towards pain-related information is a maintaining or exacerbating factor, fuelling further pain, disability, and distress. However ... [more ▼]

Theoretical accounts of chronic pain hypothesize that attentional bias towards pain-related information is a maintaining or exacerbating factor, fuelling further pain, disability, and distress. However, empirical research testing this idea is currently lacking. In the present study, we investigated whether attentional bias towards pain-related information predicts daily pain-related outcomes in a sample of chronic pain patients (n=69; M(age)=49.64 years; 46 females). During an initial laboratory session, attentional bias to pain-related information was assessed using a modified spatial cueing task. In advance, patients completed a number of self-report measures assessing current pain intensity, current disability, and pain duration. Subsequently, daily pain outcomes (self-reported pain severity, disability, avoidance behaviour, and distractibility) were measured for 2 weeks by means of an electronic diary. Results indicated that, although an attentional bias towards pain-related information was associated with the current level of disability and pain severity, it had no additional value above control variables in predicting daily pain severity, avoidance, distractibility, and disability. Attentional bias towards pain-related information did, however, moderate the relationship between daily pain severity and both daily disability and distractibility, indicating that, particularly in those patients with a strong attentional bias, increases in pain were associated with increased disability and distractibility. The use of interventions that diminish attentional bias may therefore be helpful to reduce daily disability and the level of distraction from current tasks despite the presence of pain in chronic pain patients. [less ▲]

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See detailNo pain no gain? Pursuing a competing goal inhibits avoidance behavior.
Van Damme, Stefaan; Van Ryckeghem, Dimitri UL; Wyffels, Fran et al

in Pain (2012), 153(4), 800-4

This experiment investigated pain-related avoidance behavior in context of competing goals. Participants (N=56) were presented trials of 2 different tasks of which 1 task could produce pain. They were ... [more ▼]

This experiment investigated pain-related avoidance behavior in context of competing goals. Participants (N=56) were presented trials of 2 different tasks of which 1 task could produce pain. They were free to decide whether or not to perform trials of these tasks. In half of the participants, a competing goal was activated by instructing them that they would receive a monetary reward corresponding to the number of pain task trials actually performed (competition group). In the other half of the participants, no competing goal was installed (control group). Results showed that the competition group showed less frequent avoidance behavior than the control group. Furthermore, the association between pain-related avoidance behavior and fear of pain was smaller in the competition group than in the control group. The findings indicate that the emergence of pain-related avoidance behavior depends upon the motivational context, and that the association between pain-related fear and avoidance is not stable. This study has implications for our understanding of disability, and points to the need to consider avoidance behavior within a broad context of multiple, often competing, goals. [less ▲]

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See detailAttentional bias towards pain-related information diminishes the efficacy of distraction.
Van Ryckeghem, Dimitri UL; Crombez, Geert; Van Hulle, Lore et al

in Pain (2012), 153(12), 2345-51

Distraction is a strategy that is commonly used to cope with pain. Results concerning the efficacy of distraction from both experimental and clinical studies are variable, however, and indicate that its ... [more ▼]

Distraction is a strategy that is commonly used to cope with pain. Results concerning the efficacy of distraction from both experimental and clinical studies are variable, however, and indicate that its efficacy may depend on particular circumstances. Several models propose that distraction may be less effective for people who display a large attentional bias towards pain-related information. This hypothesis was tested in an experimental context with 53 pain-free volunteers. First, attentional bias towards cues signalling the occurrence of pain (electrocutaneous stimuli) and towards words describing the sensory experience of this painful stimulus was independently assessed by means of 2 behavioural paradigms (respectively, spatial cueing task and dot-probe task). This was followed by a subsequent distraction task during which the efficacy of distraction, by directing attention away from the electrocutaneous stimuli, was tested. In addition, state-trait anxiety, catastrophic thinking, and initial pain intensity were measured. Results indicated that people who display a large attentional bias towards predictive cues of pain or who initially experience the pain as more painful benefit less from distraction on a subsequent test. No effects were found between attentional bias towards pain words, state-trait anxiety, catastrophic thinking, and the efficacy of distraction. Current findings suggest that distraction should not be used as a 'one size fits all' method to control pain, but only under more specific conditions. [less ▲]

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See detailThe interruptive effect of pain in a multitask environment: an experimental investigation.
Van Ryckeghem, Dimitri UL; Crombez, Geert; Eccleston, Christopher et al

in The journal of pain : official journal of the American Pain Society (2012), 13(2), 131-8

UNLABELLED: Daily life is characterized by the need to stop, start, repeat, and switch between multiple tasks. Here, we experimentally investigate the effects of pain, and its anticipation, in a multitask ... [more ▼]

UNLABELLED: Daily life is characterized by the need to stop, start, repeat, and switch between multiple tasks. Here, we experimentally investigate the effects of pain, and its anticipation, in a multitask environment. Using a task-switching paradigm, participants repeated and switched between 3 tasks, of which 1 predicted the possible occurrence of pain. Half of the participants received low intensity pain (N = 30), and half high intensity pain (N = 30). Results showed that pain interferes with the performance of a simultaneous task, independent of the pain intensity. Furthermore, pain interferes with the performance on a subsequent task. These effects are stronger with high intensity pain than with low intensity pain. Finally, and of particular importance in this study, interference of pain on a subsequent task was larger when participants switched to another task than when participants repeated the same task. PERSPECTIVE: This article is concerned with the interruptive effect of pain on people's task performance by using an adapted task-switching paradigm. This adapted paradigm may offer unique possibilities to investigate how pain interferes with task performance while people repeat and switch between multiple tasks in a multitask environment. [less ▲]

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See detailDistraction from pain and executive functioning: an experimental investigation of the role of inhibition, task switching and working memory.
Verhoeven, Katrien; Van Damme, Stefaan; Eccleston, Christopher et al

in European journal of pain (London, England) (2011), 15(8), 866-73

Although many studies have investigated the effectiveness of distraction as a method of pain control, the cognitive processes by which attentional re-direction is achieved, remain unclear. In this study ... [more ▼]

Although many studies have investigated the effectiveness of distraction as a method of pain control, the cognitive processes by which attentional re-direction is achieved, remain unclear. In this study the role of executive functioning abilities (inhibition, task switching and working memory) in the effectiveness of distraction is investigated. We hypothesized that the effectiveness of distraction in terms of pain reduction would be larger in participants with better executive functioning abilities. Ninety-one undergraduate students first performed executive functioning tasks, and subsequently participated in a cold pressor task (CPT). Participants were randomly assigned to (1) a distraction group, in which an attention-demanding tone-detection task was performed during the CPT, or (2) a control group, in which no distraction task was performed. Participants in the distraction group reported significantly less pain during the CPT, but the pain experience was not influenced by executive functioning abilities. However, the performance on the distraction task improved with better inhibition abilities, indicating that inhibition abilities might be important in focussing on a task despite the pain. [less ▲]

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See detailThe role of spatial attention in attentional control over pain: an experimental investigation.
Van Ryckeghem, Dimitri UL; Van Damme, Stefaan; Crombez, Geert et al

in Experimental brain research (2011), 208(2), 269-75

Distraction is a common method of pain control that is often found to be effective. However, it is still largely unexplored which components of distraction are responsible for its effects. This study ... [more ▼]

Distraction is a common method of pain control that is often found to be effective. However, it is still largely unexplored which components of distraction are responsible for its effects. This study investigated the role of the spatial location of task-relevant stimuli in the effectiveness of distraction. Two experiments were performed in which the spatial location of visual stimuli during nociceptive input was manipulated. In a first experiment, we tested whether the reaction to nociceptive information is slower when visual stimuli are presented at a different spatial location than at the same spatial location. In a second experiment, we examined whether the manipulation of spatial location affects the experience of pain. Overall, results indicated that directing attention away from the pain location results in a slower response to painful stimuli and a reduction in pain. It may be concluded that the analgesic effect of distraction is at least partly the result of the spatial location of the distracting information. [less ▲]

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See detailThe role of motivation in distracting attention away from pain: an experimental study.
Verhoeven, Katrien; Crombez, Geert; Eccleston, Christopher et al

in Pain (2010), 149(2), 229-34

Research on the effectiveness of distraction as a method of pain control is inconclusive. One mechanism pertains to the motivational relevance of distraction tasks. In this study the motivation to engage ... [more ▼]

Research on the effectiveness of distraction as a method of pain control is inconclusive. One mechanism pertains to the motivational relevance of distraction tasks. In this study the motivation to engage in a distraction task during pain was experimentally manipulated. Undergraduate students (N=73) participated in a cold pressor test (CPT) and were randomly assigned to three groups: a distraction-only group performed a tone-detection task during the CPT, a motivated-distraction group performed the same task and received a monetary reward for good task performance, and a control group did not perform the tone-detection task. Results indicated that engagement in the distraction task was better in the motivated-distraction group in comparison with the distraction-only group. Participants in both distraction groups experienced less pain compared to the control group. There were no overall differences in pain intensity between the two distraction groups. The effect of distraction was influenced by the level of catastrophic thinking about pain. For low catastrophizers, both distraction groups reported less pain as compared to the non-distracted control group. This was not the case for high catastrophizers. For high catastrophizers it mattered whether the distraction task was motivationally relevant: high catastrophizers reported less intense pain in the motivated-distraction group, as compared to the non-distracted control group. We conclude that increasing the motivational relevance of the distraction task may increase the effects of distraction, especially for those who catastrophize about pain. [less ▲]

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