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Article (Scientific journals)
The role of motivation in distracting attention away from pain: an experimental study.
Verhoeven, Katrien; Crombez, Geert; Eccleston, Christopher et al.
2010In Pain, 149 (2), p. 229-34
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Keywords :
Acoustic Stimulation; Adolescent; Anxiety/etiology/psychology; Attention/physiology; Behavior Therapy/methods; Female; Humans; Male; Motivation/physiology; Neuropsychological Tests; Pain/psychology; Pain Management; Pain Measurement/methods; Pain Threshold/psychology; Perception/physiology; Stress, Psychological/etiology/psychology; Young Adult
Abstract :
[en] 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.
Disciplines :
Treatment & clinical psychology
Author, co-author :
Verhoeven, Katrien
Crombez, Geert
Eccleston, Christopher
Van Ryckeghem, Dimitri ;  Ghent University > Experimental-Clinical and Health psychology
Morley, Stephen
Van Damme, Stefaan
External co-authors :
yes
Language :
English
Title :
The role of motivation in distracting attention away from pain: an experimental study.
Publication date :
2010
Journal title :
Pain
ISSN :
1872-6623
Publisher :
Elsevier, Netherlands
Volume :
149
Issue :
2
Pages :
229-34
Peer reviewed :
Peer Reviewed verified by ORBi
Commentary :
Copyright 2010 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Available on ORBilu :
since 25 June 2017

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