Author ORCID Identifier

Document Type


Publication Date



College of Education and Human Services


Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling & Counseling Psychology


Pain is a complex, multidimensional experience but often is measured as a unidimensional experience. This study aimed to separately assess the sensory and affective components of pain and identify their relations to important pain-related outcomes, particularly in terms of opioid misuse risk and emotion dysregulation among patients with chronic pain receiving treatment in Appalachia. Two hundred and twelve patients presenting to a multidisciplinary pain center completed the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS-18), Screener and Opioid Assessment for Patients with Pain—Revised (SOAPP-R), and short-form McGill Pain Questionnaire (SF-MPQ). The sensory experience of pain was unrelated to emotion dysregulation (r = 0.06, p = 0.57) and weakly related to opioid misuse risk (r = 0.182, p < 0.05). In contrast, the affective experience of pain was moderately related to emotion dysregulation (r = 0.217, p < 0.05) and strongly related to opioid misuse risk (r = 0.37, p < 0.01). In addition, emotion dysregulation predicted variance in opioid misuse risk above and beyond the affective and sensory experiences of pain ((b = 0.693, p < 0.001). The results suggest patients with a strong affective experience versus sensory experience of pain and challenges with emotion regulation may require a more comprehensive intervention to address these underlying components in order to reduce their risk of misusing opioid medications.

Source Citation

Jonathan W. Nauser, Cecelia I. Nelson, Richard T. Gross, Alison M. Vargovich, "Pain Experiences and Their Relation to Opioid Misuse Risk and Emotion Dysregulation", Pain Research and Management, vol. 2020, Article ID 7234625, 5 pages, 2020.


Copyright © 2020 Jonathan W. Nauser et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

This article received support from the WVU Libraries' Open Access Author Fund.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.