This review proposes a critical discussion of the recent studies investigating the presence of alexithymia in patients suffering from different chronic pain (CP) conditions. The term CP refers to pain that persists or progresses over time, while alexithymia is an affective dysregulation, largely observed in psychosomatic diseases. Overall, the examined studies showed a high prevalence of alexithymia, especially difficulties in identifying feelings, in all the different CP conditions considered. However, the association between alexithymia and pain intensity was not always clear and in some studies this relationship appeared to be mediated by negative effect, especially depression. The role of alexithymia in CP should be clarified by future studies, paying particular attention to two aspects: the use of additional measures, in addition to the Toronto Alexithymia Scale, to assess alexithymia, and the analysis of the potential differences in the evolution of different CP conditions with reference to the presence or absence of alexithymia.

Alexithymia in Chronic Pain Disorders

DI TELLA, MARIALAURA;CASTELLI, Lorys
2016

Abstract

This review proposes a critical discussion of the recent studies investigating the presence of alexithymia in patients suffering from different chronic pain (CP) conditions. The term CP refers to pain that persists or progresses over time, while alexithymia is an affective dysregulation, largely observed in psychosomatic diseases. Overall, the examined studies showed a high prevalence of alexithymia, especially difficulties in identifying feelings, in all the different CP conditions considered. However, the association between alexithymia and pain intensity was not always clear and in some studies this relationship appeared to be mediated by negative effect, especially depression. The role of alexithymia in CP should be clarified by future studies, paying particular attention to two aspects: the use of additional measures, in addition to the Toronto Alexithymia Scale, to assess alexithymia, and the analysis of the potential differences in the evolution of different CP conditions with reference to the presence or absence of alexithymia.
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Alexithymia; Chronic pain; Emotional processing; Psychological distress
Di Tella, Marialaura; Castelli, Lorys
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1562817
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