4/3/24 at 6:17 PM

Article Recommended by Dr. Josh Blum: Pain Catastrophizing: Controversies, Misconceptions, and Future Directions

This must-read article reviews the remarkable history and robust evidence behind psychologic interpretations of pain and the concept of catastrophizing specifically, which is defined as “the prediction or anticipation of future negative outcomes.” Specifically related to pain, it has been defined as an “exaggerated threat appraisal” and is highlighted in the Pain Catastrophizing Scale in the domains of magnification, rumination, and helplessness. This article explores both the usefulness of this construct in predicting outcomes across multiple realms of pain, mood, and function, as well as the recent backlash from patients over the stigmatizing effects of the term itself, including patient blaming and dismissal of complaints. In the end, the authors call for a change in the conceptualization of catastrophizing, proposing the term “catastrophic worry” as a concept that can be utilized across multiple domains, and for better education of clinicians.