Pain Catastrophizing and Attentional Bias among Patients with Chronic Back Pain in Isfahan, Iran: A Comparative Study

MSc Student, Department of Psychology, School of Educational Sciences, Psychology, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Islamic Azad university AND Researcher, Danesh-e-Tandorosti Institute, Isfahan, Iran


Background: Chronic back pain accounts for 70 to 85% of all kinds of chronic pain. Chronic back pain is recognized as the third most common disease among Iranians aged between 15 and 69 years. According to previous studies, psychological aspects of pain perception are the main reason for referral to clinics. Therefore, the understanding of creating and continuing factors, such as psychological parameters, is necessary for recognizing the procedure affecting the alleviation of disease in its initial stages. This, in turn, leads to preventing the long-term consequences of chronic back pain. This study aimed to compare pain catastrophizing and attentional bias between patients with chronic back pain and healthy individuals in Isfahan, Iran.

Methods: This was a descriptive-analytical study in which 34 patients with chronic back pain and 33 healthy individuals were investigated and compared. All participants completed the Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS) and attentional bias was assessed using the dot-probe task.

Results: The average age of participants was 39.40 years ± 9.79, and 38.8% of them were men. Based on the present study findings, there was a significant difference in pain catastrophizing between patients with chronic back pain and the control group. Moreover, the results of attentional bias of the two groups in the incongruent situation of the dot-probe task were significantly different.

Conclusion: This study showed that there was a significant difference in pain catastrophizing and attentional bias between patients with chronic back pain and controls. Furthermore, people with chronic back pain presented attention avoidance.


  • Pain
  • Chronic pain
  • Attentional bias
  • Pain catastrophizing

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