The hope cognitive model proposes that individuals with elevated hope levels possess the capacity to envision pathways towards their goals and are motivated to pursue these pathways (referred to as agency) to attain their objectives. It was our hypothesis that greater levels of hope would be linked to reduced pain, decreased psychological distress (specifically, anxiety and depression), and improved overall adjustment.
Objective: This study seeks to investigate the potential correlation between hope-related cognition and chronic musculoskeletal pain. Methods: We selected 106 patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain using a convenient sampling method from two public hospitals in Hong Kong. We evaluated their hope levels, psychological distress, and health outcomes using psychometric assessments. Results: Initial correlation analysis demonstrated an inverse association between hope and psychological distress (namely, anxiety and depression), as well as a positive relationship with subjective self-efficacy. However, there was no significant correlation with the severity of pain. Furthermore, patients with longer-lasting chronic musculoskeletal pain exhibited higher hope levels, while those whose pain resulted from work-related injuries had lower levels of hope.
Conclusion: The findings from this cross-sectional study underscore the potential significance of hope in comprehending how individuals adjust to chronic musculoskeletal pain. Future longitudinal research could provide insights into the dynamic interplay between hope and adjustment throughout the treatment of chronic pain cases.