Working memory and chronic pain, is there evidence for dysfunction? A systematic review & meta-analysis.
Carolyn Berryman, Tasha R Stanton, K Jane Bowering, Abby Tabor, Alexander McFarlane, G Lorimer Moseley
What is the problem you are trying to solve?
How cognitively impaired are people with chronic pain?
What is the hypothesis this study tested?
People with chronic pain perform differently from healthy controls on tests of cognitive function.
What was the conclusion?
People with chronic pain perform worse (overall moderate effect estimate) on working memory tasks than healthy controls.
What is the clinical relevance of the work?
Impairment in working memory will limit planning, mental flexibility and decision making; it will disrupt attention and thus impede the effectiveness of cognitive behavioural and ‘Explain Pain’ type interventions; it might hamper return to activities of daily living and disrupt problem solving responses to get out of pain.