Are Pacing Patterns Really Based on Value Goals? Exploring the Contextual Role of Pain Acceptance and Pain Catastrophizing in Women with Fibromyalgia

Abstract

Pain catastrophizing and pain acceptance have been associated with functioning in fibromyalgia. In relation to activity patterns, pacing has been defined as a helpful pattern to regulate activities in the context of value-based goals, but results regarding whether it is adaptive or not are controversial. This study analyzes the moderating role of pain acceptance between pain catastrophizing and pacing in 231 women with fibromyalgia. Moderation analyses were conducted with model 1 from the PROCESS Macro version 3.4. The results showed a clear moderating effect of pain acceptance. At low levels of pain acceptance, catastrophizing and pacing patterns maintained significant and positive associations. However, at high levels of pain acceptance, pacing was independent of catastrophizing. Far from considering pacing patterns as functional or dysfunctional per se, our results suggest that women with low pain acceptance carry out pacing influenced by catastrophizing independently of their goal pursuit, while patients who accept their pain may use pacing as a regulatory mechanism according to their goals.

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Acknowledgements

The authors gratefully acknowledge all the participants for their collaboration and enthusiasm.

Funding

This work was funded by the Health Research Fund (Fondo de Investigación en Salud), Grant Number PI17/00858 from the Instituto de Salud Carlos III (Spain) co-financed by the European Union through the Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional (FEDER). 2University Professors. PhD, Psychology’s contribution was supported by a research Grant from MINECO (PSI2016-79566-C2-1-R).

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All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection, and analysis were performed by CP, CE, and PC. The first draft of the manuscript was written by CE, and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript. CE: Conceptualization, Data curation, Formal analysis, Investigation, Methodology, Writing—original draft, Writing review and editing. CP: Conceptualization, data curation, Investigation, Methodology, Resources Writing—original draft, supervision, validation. Funding acquisition. PC: Conceptualization, methodology, resources, data curation; writing—original draft preparation. SL-R: Conceptualization, resources, data curation, writing—original draft preparation. Her contribution was supported by a research grant from MINECO (PSI2016-79566-C2-1-R). MAPM: Conceptualization, resources, data curation, writing—original draft preparation. Her contribution was supported by a research grant from MINECO (PSI2016-79566-C2-1-R). CG: Conceptualization, methodology, resources, data curation; writing—original draft preparation.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Cecilia Peñacoba.

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Conflict of interest

Carmen Ecija, Patricia Catala, Sofía López-Roig, María Ángeles Pastor-Mira, Carmen Gallardo, Cecilia Peñacoba declares that they have no conflict of interest.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The study was approved by the Bioethics Committee of Rey Juan Carlos University (Reference PI17/00858).

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Ecija, C., Catala, P., López-Roig, S. et al. Are Pacing Patterns Really Based on Value Goals? Exploring the Contextual Role of Pain Acceptance and Pain Catastrophizing in Women with Fibromyalgia. J Clin Psychol Med Settings (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10880-021-09762-8

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Keywords

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Pain acceptance
  • Catastrophizing
  • Pacing pattern
  • Moderation