Cognitive styles and personality traits as predictors of response to therapy in pain patients

Shulamith Kreitler*, Raphael Carasso, Hans Kreitler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many studies deal with psychological factors characterizing the pain patient but few with those differentiating patients responding well to pain therapy from those who do not. The purpose was to find psychological characteristics of patients who improve after pain therapy. The hypotheses were that therapy-respondent patients would be higher in number of different cognitive styles, anxiety and neuroticism and lower in extraversion. The subjects were 38 chronic pain patients of both genders who were tested on the STAI, the EPI and a meaning questionnaire. All were then given acupuncture for 4-6 sessions. Improvement was tested by evaluations of patient and physician and by objective criteria, at the end of therapy and in two follow-ups. Three groups were defined: highly improved (N = 11), slightly improved (N = 16) and not improved (N = 11). The groups differed only in extraversion and several meaning variables. The therapy-respondent patient is introverted according to the EPI and the meaning questionnaire. Discussion focused on the psychological profile of the therapy-respondent patient and on differences between pain generation and pain maintenance or reduction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-322
Number of pages10
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1989


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