Relationships between components of
Chronic pain is a significant comorbidity in individuals with alcohol dependence (AD). Emotional processing deficits are a substantial component of both AD and chronic pain. The aim of this study was to analyze the interrelations between components of emotional intelligence and self-reported pain severity in AD patients.
Patients and methods
A sample of 103 participants was recruited from an alcohol treatment center in Warsaw, Poland. Information concerning pain level in the last 4 weeks, demographics, severity of current anxiety and depressive symptoms, as well as neuroticism was obtained. The study sample was divided into “mild or no pain” and “moderate or greater pain” groups.
In the logistic regression model, across a set of sociodemographic, psychological, and clinical factors, higher emotion regulation and higher education predicted lower severity, whereas increased levels of anxiety predicted higher severity of self-reported pain during the previous 4 weeks. When the mediation models looking at the association between current severity of anxiety and depressive symptoms and pain severity with the mediating role of emotion regulation were tested, emotion regulation appeared to fully mediate the relationship between depression severity and pain, and partially the relationship between anxiety severity and pain.
The current findings extend previous results indicating that emotion regulation deficits are related to self-reported pain in AD subjects. Comprehensive strategies focusing on the improvement of mood regulation skills might be effective in the treatment of AD patients with comorbid pain symptoms.