Original Article

Korean J Pain 2019; 32(1): 22-29

Published online January 28, 2019 https://doi.org/10.3344/kjp.2019.32.1.22

Copyright © The Korean Pain Society.

Acceptance versus catastrophizing in predicting quality of life in patients with chronic low back pain

Gracia Mayuni Semeru*, and Magdalena S. Halim*

Department of Psychology, Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia.

Correspondence to: Gracia Mayuni Semeru. Department of Psychology, Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia, Jln. Jend.Sudirman no 51, Jakarta, Indonesia. Tel: +62-818-0624-0182, Fax: +62-21-574-7912, mayuni_91@hotmail.com

Received: July 25, 2018; Revised: October 9, 2018; Accepted: October 29, 2018



The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between pain catastrophizing, acceptance, and quality of life in relation to chronic low back pain in Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. We also analyze the effect of personality in catastrophizing and acceptance.


A total of 52 chronic low back pain patients were enrolled as participants from 2 hospitals in Jakarta (43 females, 9 males, mean age 54.38 years). Participants completed a set of self-reported questionnaires: the NEO Five Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI), Chronic Pain Acceptance Questionnaire-Revised (CPAQ-R), Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS), and Pain Discomfort Module (PDM).


This study showed that acceptance increased the patient's quality of life by giving physical relief from pain. In contrast, pain catastrophizing decreased the quality of life, and increased the patients' tendency to get frustrated, irritated, and anxious about the pain. From a personality perspective, the trait neuroticism may lead to a higher level of pain catastrophizing.


This study showed that catastrophizing, compared with acceptance, had a greater impact on the patient's life by reducing its quality.

Keywords: Anxiety, Chronic pain, Catastrophization, Low back pain, Personality disorders, Quality of life, Self report, Survey and questionnaires