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Measuring Emotional Intelligence Enhances the Psychological Evaluation of Chronic Pain

Doherty, E and Walsh, R and Andrews, L and McPherson, SJ (2017) 'Measuring Emotional Intelligence Enhances the Psychological Evaluation of Chronic Pain.' Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, 24 (3-4). pp. 365-375. ISSN 1068-9583

Pre-pub Doherty et al JCPMS 2017.pdf - Accepted Version

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The assessment of emotional factors, in addition to other psychosocial factors, has been recommended as a means of identifying individuals with chronic pain who may not respond to certain pain treatments. Systematic reviews of the evidence regarding the prediction of responsiveness to a treatment called the spinal cord stimulator (SCS) have yielded inconclusive results. Emotional intelligence is a term which refers to the ability to identify and manage emotions in oneself and others and has been shown to be inversely associated with emotional distress and acute pain. This study aims to investigate the relationship between emotional intelligence, chronic pain, and the more established psychosocial factors usually used for SCS evaluations by clinical psychologists in medical settings. A sample of 112 patients with chronic pain on an acute hospital waiting list for SCS procedures in a pain medicine service were recruited. Psychological measures were completed including: a novel measure of emotional intelligence; usual measures of emotional distress and catastrophizing; and a numerical rating scale designed to assess pain intensity, pain-related distress, and interference. As predicted, findings revealed significant associations between most of the measures analyzed and current pain intensity. When entered into a simultaneous regression analysis, emotional intelligence scores remained the only significant predictor of current pain intensity. There are potential clinical, ethical, and organizational implications of emotional intelligence processes partially predicting pain in patients on a waiting list for a medical procedure. These results may offer new insight, understanding, and evaluation targets for clinical psychologists in the field of pain management.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Emotional intelligence; Emotional distress; Catastrophizing; Current pain intensity
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Health and Social Care, School of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2017 10:19
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 13:43

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