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Adult attachment variables predict depression before and after treatment for chronic pain
journal contributionposted on 03.08.2018, 00:00 by Pamela Meredith, J Strong, JA Feeney
The complex relationship between chronic pain and depression has long been of clinical and empirical interest. Although attachment theory has been described as a "theory of affect regulation", and has been lauded as a developmental framework for chronic pain, surprisingly little research specifically considers the links between adult attachment variables and pain-related depression. A sample of 99 participants with chronic pain of non-cancer origin was evaluated before and after pain rehabilitation. Results demonstrated that two attachment dimensions (comfort with closeness and relationship anxiety) were related to pre- and post-treatment depression. Of particular interest was the finding that comfort with closeness was the unique predictor of lower levels of post-treatment depression, usurping pain intensity and pre-treatment depression. These results are discussed in terms of clinical implications, and suggest that adult attachment theory may prove a valuable perspective in pain treatment programs. © 2006 European Federation of Chapters of the International Association for the Study of Pain.