Recent findings from a sample of patients with acute and chronic musculoskeletal pain and headache indicate that fear of pain is characterized by latent continuity; that is, it is non-taxonic. It remains to be determined whether the latent structure of fear of pain is consistent between patients seeking treatment for pain versus those drawn from representative community samples. The purpose of the present investigation was to determine if the latent structure of fear of pain is characterized by latent continuity in a representative community sample of older adults. Using taxometric methods in a sample of 459 community dwelling older adults, we sought to evaluate the latent structure of fear of pain as indexed by the Pain Anxiety Symptoms Scale. Results from analyses of simulated Monte Carlo data, MAXEIG-HITMAX, and L-mode consistency tests indicated that the latent structure of fear of pain in this sample was the same as that previously reported in clinical samples, being non-taxonic and characterized by latent continuity. These findings confirm initial findings that fear of pain, at least as measured by the Pain Anxiety Symptoms Scale, is continuous, occurring along a latent continuum ranging from low to high. Results are discussed in relation to the conceptual understanding of fear of pain, implications for assessment and treatment, and future research directions.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors would like to thank Dr. J. Ruscio and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments. Preparation of this paper was supported, in part, by an operating grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and by CIHR Investigator Awards to Dr. Asmundson and Dr. Hadjistavropoulos. Dr. Hadjistavropoulos also acknowledges the support of the RBC Foundation. Dr. Bernstein acknowledges that this work was supported in part by VA Office of Academic Affairs and Health Services Research and Development Service Research funds. This paper also was supported in part by National Institute on Drug Abuse research grants (1 R01 DA018734-01A1, 1 R03 DA016566-01A2, and 1 R21 DA016227-01) and National Institutes of Mental Health research grant (1 R01 MH076629-01) awarded to Dr. Zvolensky.
- Pain Anxiety Symptoms Scale
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine