Intolerance of Uncertainty Leads To More Pain

July 2020 publication in the Journal ‘Pain’ looking at what’s called Intolerance of uncertainty (IU), which the study authors state is ‘a dispositional fear of the unknown’  and is related to anxiety and excessive worry. This study looked at how ‘uncertainty regarding a chronic pain diagnosis and treatment may fuel beliefs that something serious was missed by clinicians and a search for the ‘right’ diagnosis’. This intolerance of uncertainty of parents had a direct effect on the pain of youth (10-18 years of age). The authors state:

The current results supported the hypothesis that greater parent IU predicts greater parent pain catastrophizing, which in turn predicts greater parent protectiveness and youth fear of pain (i.e., fear and avoidance behaviors), and subsequently 3-month youth pain interference.

The issue with a lot of chronic pain is that there is no structural physical cause to the pain and instead the pain results from changes in the brain and nervous system. Because doctors don’t scan the brain and and test the nervous system, many people suffering with pain are constantly looking for a physical cause, which can just lead to what this study found.