Department of Psychology, University of Houston, USA; Department of Behavioral Science, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, USA; HEALTH Institute, University of Houston, USA. Electronic address: [Email]
Opioid misuse is a significant public health problem. Chronic pain is one highly prevalent factor that is strongly associated with increased risk for opioid misuse. Anxiety sensitivity (fear of anxiety related physical sensations) is an individual difference factor consistently linked to pain experience, and separately, heroin use. The present study examined if anxiety sensitivity may be one factor related to the relationship between pain intensity and opioid misuse among opioid-using adults with chronic pain. Results indicated that anxiety sensitivity total score was significantly associated with the relationship between pain intensity and current opioid misuse, as well as pain intensity and severity of opioid dependence. Overall, results suggest that anxiety sensitivity may be an important assessment and intervention target to ultimately reduce the rates of opioid misuse among adults with chronic pain.