Social comparison processes and catastrophising in fibromyalgia: A path analysis

Cabrera-Perona, V., Buunk, A. P., Terol-Cantero, M. C., Quiles-Marcos, Y. & Martin-Aragon, M., 2017, In : Psychology & Health. 32, 6, p. 745-764 20 p.

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  • Social comparison processes and catastrophising in fibromyalgia A path analysis

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  • V. Cabrera-Perona
  • A. P. Buunk
  • M. C. Terol-Cantero
  • Y. Quiles-Marcos
  • M. Martin-Aragon

Introduction: In addition to coping strategies, social comparison may play a role in illness adjustment. However, little is known about the role of contrast and identification in social comparison in adaptation to fibromyalgia.Aim: To evaluate through a path analysis in a sample of fibromyalgia patients, the association between identification and contrast in social comparison, catastrophising and specific health outcomes (fibromyalgia illness impact and psychological distress).Material and Method: 131 Spanish fibromyalgia outpatients (mean age: 50.15, SD=11.1) filled out a questionnaire.Results: We present a model that explained 33% of the variance in catastrophising by direct effects of more use of upward contrast and downward identification. In addition, 35% of fibromyalgia illness impact variance was explained by less upward identification, more upward contrast and more catastrophising and 42% of the variance in psychological distress by a direct effect of more use of upward contrast together with higher fibromyalgia illness impact.Discussion: We suggest that intervention programmes with chronic pain and fibromyalgia patients should focus on enhancing the use of upward identification in social comparison, and on minimising the use of upward contrast and downward identification in social comparison.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)745-764
Number of pages20
JournalPsychology & Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • social comparison, fibromyalgia, health outcomes, catastrophising, path analysis, CHRONIC PAIN, RHEUMATOID-ARTHRITIS, WOMEN, MULTICENTER, ILLNESS, CANCER, SCALE, MODEL, LIFE

ID: 99967080