Stress-related clinical pain and mood in women with chronic pain: moderating effects of depression and positive mood induction

Mary Davis, Kirti Thummala, Alex J. Zautra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Chronic pain with comorbid depression is characterized by poor mood regulation and stress-related pain.

PURPOSE: This study aims to compare depressed and non-depressed pain patients in mood and pain stress reactivity and recovery, and test whether a post-stress positive mood induction moderates pain recovery.

METHODS: Women with fibromyalgia and/or osteoarthritis (N = 110) underwent interpersonal stress and were then randomly assigned by pain condition and depression status, assessed via the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression scale, to positive versus neutral mood induction.

RESULTS: Depression did not predict stress-related reactivity in despondency, joviality, or clinical pain. However, depression × mood condition predicted recovery in joviality and clinical pain; depressed women recovered only in the positive mood condition, whereas non-depressed women recovered in both mood conditions.

CONCLUSIONS: Depression does not alter pain and mood stress reactivity, but does impair recovery. Boosting post-stress jovial mood ameliorates pain recovery deficits in depressed patients, a finding relevant to chronic pain interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-70
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of behavioral medicine : a publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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