In control of pain: a cognitive-affective analysis


  • D. Van Ryckeghem
  • S. Rost
  • V. Araujo Soares
  • J. Veldhuijzen
  • G. Crombez


Aims: - Present an overarching theoretical framework incorporating the underlying factors that are involved in successful top-down-modulation of attention for pain - Present cutting edge research showing the impact of emotion regulation capacity and task/goal importance in pain experience and pain-related problems - Present innovative methods to train attention allocation and inhibitory control in an attempt to reduce pain, disability and distress. Rationale: Chronic pain is a frequent pain problem worldwide, which has a huge impact on the daily life of people experiencing pain and their environment. Understanding which factors exacerbate or reduce pain and accompanied problems is therefore essential. Contemporary pain models assume that pain and related problems are largely influenced by cognitive and affective factors. Current symposium will address the impact of pivotal cognitive and emotional factors that influence pain and –related problems in people experiencing acute and chronic pain. To investigate these factors innovative research methodologies will be used. Furthermore, innovative study designs will be presented to train attention away from pain and increase people’s level of inhibitory control in an attempt to reduce pain and disability. Summary: Geert Crombez will present an overarching theoretical framework explaining the important role of cognitive and emotional factors within the interplay between attention and pain. Next, Vera Araujo-Soares will present innovative research designs investigating the effect of variations in distraction task upon pain. Next, Silke Rost will address the role of emotion regulation capacity, indexed via affective instability and heart rate variability, in explaining pain outcomes in fibromyalgia patients. Following, Judy Veldhuijzen will present study findings on the impact of inhibitory control training on pain. Finally, Dimitri Van Ryckeghem will present his research on attention bias modification and its impact upon pain and disability. Afterwards, Geert Crombez will moderate a general discussion addressing theoretical and clinical consequences of current findings.