Funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) this project will run from Nov 2019-2022 and is investigating how mental defeat can influence pain sensation, sleep patterns, social activity, physical activity and general health & wellbeing in individuals who have chronic pain.
Mental defeat is defined as the perceived loss of autonomy in the face of uncontrollable, traumatic events. Applied to the context of chronic pain this can be explained as a loss of identity and self in relation to repeated episodes of pain. This study follows on from previous work to apply an experimental, lab-based study to patients with chronic pain (previously done in pain-free, young adults). Additionally, a longitudinal sleep-tracking survey spanning across a 12-month period will collect data on how day-to-day lived experiences of pain impact health & quality of life.
The research into the concept of mental defeat and mental victory is sparse and more needs to be done by research to help understand the link between these two constructs and lived pain experience. Through continued research efforts in this area, we will be able to develop future interventions to help people live well with pain as well as generate important information to further explain the influence mental defeat has on distress and disability in chronic pain patients.