Nevin Manimala Statistics

The effect of experimental emotion induction on experimental pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Pain. 2023 Oct 25. doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000003073. Online ahead of print.


The idea that emotions can influence pain is generally recognized. However, a synthesis of the numerous individual experimental studies on this subject is lacking. The aim of the present systematic review and meta-analysis was to synthesize the existing evidence on the effect of experimental emotion induction on experimental pain in nonclinical adults. PsycInfo and PubMed were searched up until April 10, 2023, for studies assessing differences in self-reported pain between emotion induction groups and/or control groups or between conditions within group. Risk of bias was assessed for the individual studies. The literature search yielded 78 relevant records of 71 independent studies. When compared with control conditions, the pooled results revealed a statistically significant pain-attenuating effect of positive emotion induction (between-group: Hedges g = -0.48, 95% CI: -0.72; -0.25, K = 9; within-group: g = -0.24, 95% CI: -0.32; -0.15, K = 40), and a statistically significant pain-exacerbating effect of negative emotion induction in within-group analyses but not between-group analyses (between-group: g = -0.29, 95% CI: -0.66; 0.07, K = 10; within-group: g = 0.14, 95% CI: 0.06; 0.23, K = 39). Bayesian meta-analysis provided strong support for an effect of positive emotion induction but weak support for an effect of negative emotion induction. Taken together, the findings indicate a pain-attenuating effect of positive emotion induction, while the findings for negative emotion induction are less clear. The findings are discussed with reference to theoretical work emphasizing the role of motivational systems and distraction for pain. Limitations include considerable heterogeneity across studies limiting the generalizability of the findings.

PMID:37889565 | DOI:10.1097/j.pain.0000000000003073

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