P3 -Partners’ Social Support: Does Motivation Matter in Coping With Chronic Pain?


  • S. Kindt
  • M. Vansteenkiste
  • T. Loeys
  • A. Cano
  • L. Goubert


Background: Pain is not a private experience, it affects spouses too. However, little is known why partners are distressed and how partners impact patient outcomes. The current study aimed at investigating associations between partners’ motivation to help and partner/patient outcomes. Method: 48 couples, recruited through patient groups, in which one partner (36 female patients; Mage = 52.98) has chronic pain participated. Questionnaires were administered to assess affect, life satisfaction, anxious and depressive feelings and relational quality. Additionally, partners completed an adapted version of the Motivation to Help Scale. Findings: This study indicates that partners who help for autonomous reasons report better well-being, less distress and better relational quality than partners who help out of external or internal pressure. Effects are explained by a higher relational need satisfaction and experiencing less helping exhaustion. Partners’ helping motivation also affects patients’ relational quality, but only for those with high pain intensity. Discussion: Results will be discussed in the context of Self-Determination Theory. Directions for future research will be outlined.