Psychological factors that influence self-reported pain

Jerry C. Parker, University of Missouri Health Sciences Center
Leonard A. Doerfler, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Heather A. Tatten, University of Missouri-Columbia
John E. Hewett, University of Missouri-Columbia

At the time of publication, Leonard Doerfler was not yet affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.


Explored the relationship among the MMPI, the Beck Depression Inventory, and the pain dimensions from the McGill Pain Questionnaire. The instruments were administered to 30 male VA patients with histories of pain for longer than 3 months. Multiple regression analyses that investigated the relationship between depression and the pain measures found no statistically significant correlations. Additionally, the MMPI subscales were not related significantly to the sensory-discriminative pain scores, the cognitive-evaluative pain scores, the present pain intensity scores, the percent of body area in pain, or the total number of pain words endorsed. In contrast, the MMPI subscales were related significantly to the motivational-affective pain dimension and the miscellaneous pain dimension. In the motivational-affective analysis, a significant positive correlation was found for the PT subscale, but a significant negative correlation was found for the Sc subscale. In the miscellaneous pain analysis, a significant positive correlation was found for the Hs subscale. The results are interpreted in the context of cognitive-behavioral conceptualizations of chronic pain.