The Effects of Perceived Locus of Control and Dispositional Optimism on Chronic Pain Treatment Outcomes.
Description: The financial cost for health care and lost productivity due to chronic pain has been estimated at over $70 billion per year. Researchers have attempted to discover the psychosocial and personality factors that discriminate between people who learn to cope well with chronic pain and those who have difficulty adjusting. The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of perceived locus of control and dispositional optimism on chronic pain treatment outcomes. Subjects reported significantly lower post-treatment pain levels as compared with pre-treatment levels (M = 0.66, SD = 1.58), t(45) = 2.85, p = .007 (two-tailed), but decreased pain was not associated with scores on the internality dimension of the Pain Locus of Control Scale (PLOC) or on the Life Orientation Test-Revised (LOT-R) (a measure of dispositional optimism). Overall, participants' increased coping ability was associated with scores on the LOT-R, but not with scores on the internality dimension of the PLOC. Subjects with the lowest pre-treatment scores on the LOT-R demonstrated significantly greater increases in post-treatment coping ability than those with the highest scores (F(2,40) = 3.93, p < .03). Participants with the highest pre-treatment scores on both the PLOC internality dimension and the LOT-R demonstrated greater post-treatment coping ability (F(2,32) = 4.65, p < .02), but not less post-treatment pain than other subjects. Participants' post-treatment LOT-R scores were significantly higher than their pre-treatment scores (M = 2.09, SD = 3.96), t(46) = 3.61, p = .001 (two-tailed), but post-treatment PLOC internality scores were not significantly higher than pre-treatment scores. Implications of these results are discussed.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Worsham, Scott L.
Partner: UNT Libraries