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Self‐compassion, social functioning and chronic pain

Purdie, Fiona Jane (2014) Self‐compassion, social functioning and chronic pain. D.Clin.Psychol thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

Background: Chronic pain can have significant negative consequences for many areas of life, including social functioning and participation. Self‐compassion is becoming established as a factor which can promote psychological wellbeing, resilience and coping in the face of difficulties such as those presented by chronic pain. The available evidence suggests that higher levels of self‐compassion are associated with increased acceptance of pain, lower levels of negative affect, pain catastrophising and pain disability. Self‐compassion may, therefore, play a role in attenuating the impact of pain‐relevant events. However, there have been no studies to date which examine the role of self‐compassion on social functioning and participation in a chronic pain population. Method: An experimental vignette design was used to assess the influence of self‐compassion on affective, cognitive and behavioural responses to unpleasant self‐relevant events, which were manipulated across social context and pain relevance, in a chronic pain population (n=62). Results: Higher levels of self‐compassion were associated with lower intensities of negative affect (sadness, anxiety, anger and embarrassment), and a lower reported likelihood of avoidance, catastrophising and rumination in response to unpleasant pain‐ and self‐ relevant events. Individuals with higher levels of self‐compassion also reported higher levels of satisfaction with their social participation in general. Conclusions: Self‐compassion may be an important factor in developing resilience and promoting social engagement in a chronic pain population. Further research is indicated to better establish the process by which self‐compassion may maintain positive social functioning, whether selfcompassion can be increased in chronic pain patients, and if so whether these results can be replicated in real life circumstances.

Item Type: Thesis (D.Clin.Psychol)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Medicine and Health (Leeds) > Institute of Health Sciences (Leeds) > Academic Unit of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.638935
Depositing User: Leeds CMS
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2015 13:32
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2015 13:48
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/8335

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