Exploration of the illness uncertainty concept in acute and chronic pain patients vs community patients

  • Fishbain D
  • Bruns D
  • Disorbio J
 et al. 
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Illness uncertainty (IU) theory proposes that patients with chronic illness may have difficulty adjusting to the illness if there is significant diagnostic or prognostic uncertainty. Two dimensions of IU theory are "lack of information about diagnoses or severity of the illness" (LIDSI) and "complexity regarding the health care system" (CRHCS). The primary objective of this study was then to compare the prevalence of IU in community nonpatients, community patients, and rehabilitation patients without pain/chronic pain patients (CPPs)/acute pain patients (APPs) as represented by two items with possible face validity for LIDSI ("doctors puzzled by my problems,""doctors missed something important") and three items with possible CRHCS face validity ("doctors don't believe me,""I need to prove my problem is real,""doctors think my problems are in my head"). The secondary objectives were to determine if the LIDSI items are associated with the CRHCS items and to develop predictor models for the LIDSI items in APPs and CPPs.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Acute Pain
  • Acute Pain Patients
  • Ambiguity
  • Battery of Health Improvement (BHI 2)
  • Chronic Illness
  • Chronic Pain
  • Chronic Pain Patients
  • Community Pain-Free Controls
  • Illness Uncertainty
  • Imaginary Symptoms
  • Legitimate Symptoms
  • Uncertainty

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  • David A. Fishbain

  • Daniel Bruns

  • John M. Disorbio

  • John E. Lewis

  • Jinrun Gao

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