Study: Motivation Reduces Pain Avoidance Behavior

Pain Management

A study found that while engaged in a competing goal, patients were less likely to exhibit pain avoidance behavior, according to findings published in Pain. More than 50 participants were presented trials of two different tasks of which one task could produce pain. Half of the participants in a "competition group" were told they would receive a monetary reward corresponding to the number of pain task trials actually performed. The control group was offered no such reward.

Researchers discovered the competition group showed less frequent avoidance behavior than the control group. They also found the association between pain-related avoidance behavior and fear of pain was smaller in the competition group. The findings indicate that motivation plays a key role in pain-avoidance behavior.

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