Hypervigilance is a term used to describe those individuals who are excessively attentive to their bodily symptoms and is associated with monitoring bodily sensations for threat. This dysfunctional attentional style has been assumed to maintain and amplify bodily sensations and is seen in the various fear-avoidance models where fearful patients become increasingly vigilant for signals of bodily threat, which in turn leads to avoidance behaviour and increased disability. Several factors are thought to be involved in moderating the attentional demands of pain, the strongest and most consistent effects relate to fear, anxiety, and catastrophizing. Attentional vigilance for pain-threatening information results in a greater chance of detecting potential sources of threat, exacerbating pain, disability, deterioration in physical health, social isolation and work loss. Attentional bias to pain may illustrate a lack of acceptance of having CNMP and may be detrimental to management; acceptance is beneficial in terms of patient functioning.



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