The authors of the study concluded that resilience may facilitate adjustment through beneficial and predicted associations with positive emotions and active engagement with the environment. These relationships are independent of the significant and inverse associations of pain interference, according to the paper.
The researchers analyzed several demographic and self-report measures of resilience, pain interference, activity restriction, positive emotions, and symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among 202 participants who sustained traumatic injuries and whose eligibility and need of upper-limb prostheses was evaluated. The cohort included 57 women and 145 men with an average age of 41.81. The study, published online February 5 in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, was conducted at six regional centers of Advanced Arm Dynamics, headquartered in Redondo Beach, California.
Resilience and pain interference were significantly correlated in predicted directions with positive emotions, activity restriction, and two distress variables determined through use of the Primary Care PTSD Screen and a depression screening. A path model revealed that the associations of resilience and pain interference to both distress variables were completely mediated by positive emotions and activity restriction. There were no significant direct effects of resilience or pain interference to either distress variable.
The authors of the study recommend further longitudinal research to understand interactions between positive emotions and activity over time in promoting adjustment after traumatic limb loss. Individuals reporting symptoms of depression and/or PTSD may require interventions that reduce avoidance and promote activities that may increase the likelihood of experiencing positive emotions, the researchers concluded.