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Uncovering the influence of social skills and psychosociological factors on pain sensitivity using structural equation modeling

Authors Tanaka Y, Nishi Y, Nishi Y, Osumi M, Morioka S

Received 6 June 2017

Accepted for publication 11 August 2017

Published 11 September 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 2223—2231

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JPR.S143342

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Minal Joshi

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr E. Alfonso Romero-Sandoval

Yoichi Tanaka,1,2 Yuki Nishi,1 Yuki Nishi,1 Michihiro Osumi,3 Shu Morioka1,3

1Department of Neurorehabilitation, Graduate School of Health Sciences, Kio University, 2Department of Rehabilitation, Nara Prefecture General Rehabilitation Center, 3Department of Neurorehabilitation Research Center, Kio University, Nara, Japan

Abstract: Pain is a subjective emotional experience that is influenced by psychosociological factors such as social skills, which are defined as problem-solving abilities in social interactions. This study aimed to reveal the relationships among pain, social skills, and other psychosociological factors by using structural equation modeling. A total of 101 healthy volunteers (41 men and 60 women; mean age: 36.6±12.7 years) participated in this study. To evoke participants’ sense of inner pain, we showed them images of painful scenes on a PC screen and asked them to evaluate the pain intensity by using the visual analog scale (VAS). We examined the correlation between social skills and VAS, constructed a hypothetical model based on results from previous studies and the current correlational analysis results, and verified the model’s fit using structural equation modeling. We found significant positive correlations between VAS and total social skills values, as well as between VAS and the “start of relationships” subscales. Structural equation modeling revealed that the values for “start of relationships” had a direct effect on VAS values (path coefficient =0.32, p<0.01). In addition, the “start of relationships” had both a direct and an indirect effect on psychological factors via social support. The results indicated that extroverted people are more sensitive to inner pain and tend to get more social support and maintain a better psychological condition.

Keywords: social skills, psychosociological factors, pain sensitivity

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