Research Article  |   June 2015
Sensory Sensitivity and Strategies for Coping With Pain
Author Affiliations
  • Pamela J. Meredith, PhD, is Senior Lecturer, Occupational Therapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Australia; p.meredith@uq.edu.au
  • Georgia Rappel, BOccThy(Hons), was Honours Student, Occupational Therapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Australia, at the time of the study
  • Jenny Strong, PhD, MOccThy, is Professor, Occupational Therapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Australia
  • Kirsty J. Bailey, BOccThy(Hons), is Occupational Therapist, Queensland Health, Australia
Article Information
Mental Health / Sensory Integration and Processing / Health and Wellness
Research Article   |   June 2015
Sensory Sensitivity and Strategies for Coping With Pain
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, June 2015, Vol. 69, 6904240010p1-6904240010p10. doi:10.5014/ajot.2015.014621
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, June 2015, Vol. 69, 6904240010p1-6904240010p10. doi:10.5014/ajot.2015.014621
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. Our goal was to investigate the relationship between sensory processing styles and use of pain coping strategies in an experimental setting to understand individual differences in pain coping.

METHOD. A cross-sectional design was used with a convenience sample of 116 healthy adults. Measures of sensory processing style and mood state were collected before participation in a cold pressor pain-inducement task, and measures of coping strategies were collected afterward. Multiple regression models were constructed to examine relationships between sensory processing and coping strategies.

RESULTS. Sensory sensitivity and sensation avoiding were significantly associated with higher levels of catastrophizing. Sensation seeking was linked with active coping strategies, such as coping self-statements. Low registration was not significantly associated with any particular coping strategy after controlling for salient variables.

CONCLUSION. This study highlights associations between sensory processing and pain coping strategies, which may inform more tailored approaches to clinical practice for people in pain.