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Measuring pain: Physiological and self-rated measurements in relation to pain stimulation and anxiety
University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
Karolinska Univ Hosp, Stockholm.
Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm.
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Psychology and Social Work.
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2019 (English)In: Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica, ISSN 0001-5172, E-ISSN 1399-6576, Vol. 63, no 5, p. 668-675Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Introduction: The aim of the present study was to investigate how emotions influence pain, measured by one subjective self-rated measure, the numeric rating scale (NRS), and one objective physiological measure, the number of skin conductance responses (NSCR). Method: Eighteen volunteers were exposed to conditions with pictorial emotional stimuli (neutral, positive, negative), authentic ICU-sound (noise, no-noise) and electrical stimulation (pain, no-pain) individually titrated to induce moderate pain. When using all combinations of picture inducing emotions, sound, and pain, each of these conditions (12 conditions lasting for 60 seconds each) were followed by pain ratings. Ratings of arousal (low to high) and valence (pleasant to unpleasant) were used as indicators of affective state for each condition. Mean NSCR was also measured throughout the experiment for each condition. Results: Even though NRS and NSCR increased during painful stimuli, they did not correlate during the trial. However, NSCR was positively correlated with the strength of the electrical stimulation, r = 0.48, P = 0.046, whereas NRS showed positive correlations with the anxiety level, assessed by affective ratings (arousal, r = 0.61, P < 0.001, and valence, r = 0.37, P < 0.001). Conclusions: The NRS was strongly influenced by affective state, with higher pain ratings during more anxiety-like states, whereas NSCR correlated to the strength of electrical pain stimulation. That reported pain is moderated by anxiety, puts forward a discussion whether reduction of the anxiety level should be considered during analgesia treatment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 63, no 5, p. 668-675
Keywords [en]
anxiety, arousal, pain, skin conductance, valence, visual analog scale
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-35824DOI: 10.1111/aas.13323ISI: 000464283800014PubMedID: 30701545OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-35824DiVA, id: diva2:1297277
Available from: 2019-03-19 Created: 2019-03-19 Last updated: 2019-05-22Bibliographically approved

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Bernhardsson, JensBjärtå, Anna

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