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Distortions to the passage of time during chronic pain: a mixed method study

Ogden, R, Moore, DJ, Piovesan, A and Poole, H (2023) Distortions to the passage of time during chronic pain: a mixed method study. European Journal of Pain. ISSN 1090-3801

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Background: A core aspect of the clinical assessment of pain is establishing how long pain has been present for. The reported length of pain can therefore influence diagnosis and treatment. Despite this, little is known about how chronic pain affects the passage of time. Methods: A mixed-methods cross-sectional study examined experiences of the passage of time in people identifying as living with chronic pain (n = 398). Results: Experiencing chronic pain slows the passage of time for most people. Greater pain intensity, rumination about pain, helplessness, and identifying as disabled were associated with a greater slowing of the passage of time. Thematic analysis of responses to open ended questions suggested that a slowing of time during pain was associated with 1) pain intrusion preventing activities which would otherwise enable time to pass quickly, 2) increased attention to time and 3) as sense that in retrospect, time throughout life was “lost” to chronic pain. Conclusion: Chronic pain causes widespread distortion to the passage of time. The slowing of time during pain means that periods of pain feel subjectively longer than periods without, exacerbating patient distress.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1103 Clinical Sciences; 1109 Neurosciences; 1115 Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences; Anesthesiology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Psychology (from Sep 2019)
Publisher: Wiley
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2023 08:54
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2024 15:00
DOI or ID number: 10.1002/ejp.2211
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/21919
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