The stress inoculation paradigm for helping clients deal with pain consists of education about the psychological dimensions of pain à la Melzack, training in a number of coping skills relevant to each dimension, and practice in applying these skills to the noxious stimulus. In order to determine which of these treatment components have a reactive effect, 70 screened clients were randomly assigned to one of five treatment conditions. The cold pressor and pressure algometer tasks, respectively, yielded three direct and three generalization measures. On all direct measures coping skills training resulted in highly significant improvement. Neither education (i.e., insight)nor exposure had any effect. In comparison to a nonspecific treatment the stress inoculation package proved useful on two direct measures; however, on the generalization measures neither stress inoculation nor any of its components had any impact. Heart rate changes, observed for exploratory purposes, were consistent with current research and speculation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Clinical Psychology