An Experimental Investigation of Self- Compassion and Pain: Investigating the Effect of a Self -Compassion Induction Experimentally

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dc.contributor.advisor Reynolds, L en
dc.contributor.advisor Bean, D en
dc.contributor.author Charlesworth, Kerry en
dc.date.accessioned 2019-03-17T21:17:03Z en
dc.date.issued 2018 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/46029 en
dc.description Full Text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
dc.description.abstract The impact and cost of pain on both individuals and societies around the world is extensive and well established. Continued improvement and research on therapeutic tools for management is therefore important. Self-compassion is the act of applying compassion to ones' self and encapsulates three main components; self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness. Self-compassion may be a tool which could potentially improve pain management. This study aimed to determine whether self-compassion impacts the experience of acute pain (i.e., pain thresholds, tolerance, unpleasantness, intensity, and pain catastrophising) amongst healthy participants. In this experimental study, eighty-seven healthy participants aged over 18 years of age and fluent in English were recruited. Participants who had chronic physical and/or mental health conditions, and who scored "extremely severe" on the Depression Anxiety and Stress scale were excluded. Participants first completed an online questionnaire to collect baseline demographic and dispositional measures before attending a laboratory follow-up session. In the laboratory session, participants first completed a cold pressor task to induce acute pain. Each participant was then randomised into one of three groups; control (n = 29), relaxation (n = 31), or self-compassion (n = 27) and subsequently completed a second pain-inducing cold pressor task. After each cold pressor task, participants completed a set of pain-related questionnaires on pain intensity, unpleasantness, catastrophising, threshold, and pain tolerance. Manipulation checks showed that self-compassion was successfully induced in the selfcompassiongroup and relaxation was induced in the relaxation group as intended.Interestingly, both the self-compassion and relaxation inductions lead to significantly greaterpositive affect than the control group, however, self-compassion also lead to significantlygreater negative affect in comparison to both the relaxation and control group. Investigation of hypotheses revealed that compared to the control group, both the self-compassion group (β =.34, t (79) = 2.83, p = .006) and the relaxation group (β = .32, t (79) = 2.53, p = .01) significantlypredicted improved pain thresholds and decreased pain catastrophising over time (χ2 (2) = 4.68,p = .048). Additionally, findings revealed interaction effects between gender and selfcompassionsuch that the pain thresholds of males (but not females) were significantly greaterfollowing the self-compassion induction compared to males in the control group (p = .05).This is the first study to experimentally investigate the impact of self-compassion in anacute pain setting. The findings demonstrate evidence for the potential of self-compassioninterventions in various pain settings, further adding to our understanding of self-compassionas both an induction and therapeutic tool. Importantly, this study highlights potential clinicaland theoretical implications of self-compassion within pain settings.This is the first study to experimentally investigate the impact of self-compassion in an acute pain setting. The findings demonstrate evidence for the potential of self-compassion interventions in various pain settings, further adding to our understanding of self-compassion as both an induction and therapeutic tool. Importantly, this study highlights potential clinical and theoretical implications of self-compassion within pain settings. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99265150813502091 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights Restricted Item. Full Text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.title An Experimental Investigation of Self- Compassion and Pain: Investigating the Effect of a Self -Compassion Induction Experimentally en
dc.type Thesis en
thesis.degree.discipline Health Psychology en
thesis.degree.grantor The University of Auckland en
thesis.degree.level Masters en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
pubs.elements-id 766340 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2019-03-18 en


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