Psychological flexibility, insomnia and chronic pain; a study of acceptance, mindfulness and values-based action

Jennifer Williams


Whilst thought control strategies are becoming increasingly recognised as counterproductive, the role of psychological flexibility has been observed in depression, anxiety and chronic pain, however little research has considered its role in insomnia. It was hypothesised that psychological flexibility would predict levels of insomnia. Participants were 162 male and female adults seeking chronic pain treatment who completed a set of questionnaires measuring four variables of psychological flexibility and insomnia severity. Results indicated that measures of psychological flexibility were significant correlated with measures of sleep quality. Multiple regression analysis revealed that collectively, chronicity of pain, usual pain intensity and measures of psychological flexibility accounted for 30.2% of the variance in insomnia severity scores. Further studies are needed to verify these results in order to effectively treat the problem of insomnia occurring secondary to chronic pain.

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ISSN 1754-2383 [Online] ©University of Plymouth