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Relationships between components of emotional intelligence and physical pain in alcohol-dependent patients

Authors Kopera M, Brower KJ, Suszek H, Jakubczyk A, Fudalej S, Krasowska A, Klimkiewicz A, Wojnar M

Received 6 February 2017

Accepted for publication 16 May 2017

Published 11 July 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 1611—1618


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr E Alfonso Romero-Sandoval

Maciej Kopera,1 Kirk J Brower,2 Hubert Suszek,3 Andrzej Jakubczyk,1 Sylwia Fudalej,1 Aleksandra Krasowska,1 Anna Klimkiewicz,1 Marcin Wojnar1,2

1Department of Psychiatry, Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland; 2Department of Psychiatry, Addiction Research Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA; 3Department of Psychology, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland

Purpose: 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.
Results: 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.
Conclusion: 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.

Keywords: mood regulation, pain, alcoholism, emotional regulation

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