eISSN: 2353-5571
ISSN: 2353-4184
Health Psychology Report
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4/2017
vol. 5
 
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abstract:
Original paper

Personality, cognitive appraisal and labor pain

Zuzanna Kwissa-Gajewska
1
,
Magdalena Dołęgowska
1

1.
University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Warsaw, Poland
Health Psychology Report, 5(4), 304–313
Online publish date: 2017/06/13
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Background

The theories focusing on the central neural mechanisms also pointed to the role of psychological factors in shaping painful sensations.

The aim of the study was to explore direct and indirect effects of personality and cognitive appraisal of childbirth on experienced labor pain.



Participants and procedure

Labor pain was assessed twice by forty-five childbearing women aged 18-45 (M = 28.31, SD = 5.20; 23 participants were primiparous): on admission to the obstetrics clinic and two days postpartum. On the first occasion, experienced and anticipated pain (VAS) and cognitive appraisal of labor (KOS) were measured, while the second assessment included rating of pain in the second stage of labor (VAS) and personality traits (NEO-FFI).



Results

Mediation analyses indicated indirect effects of conscientiousness on pain at the first stage of labor via challenge appraisal and of neuroticism and conscientiousness on recalled second stage labor pain intensity via threat/loss appraisal. Irrespective of personality traits, correlations were found between pain and cognitive appraisal in terms of threat/loss and challenge.



Conclusions

The findings showed the importance of conscientiousness and positive appraisal of labor for diminishing the experienced and memory for labor pain. Such positive appraisals can be reinforced in prenatal classes or trained with the support of close persons.
keywords:

personality traits; cognitive appraisal; labor pain; mediation

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