Attributions regarding unmet treatment goals after interdisciplinary chronic pain rehabilitation

Thomas P. Guck, James C. Willcockson, Rex L. Schmidt, Christopher M. Criscuolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: The goal violation effect (GVE), a component of the relapse process model, occurs when patients make internal, stable, global, and uncontrollable rather than external, unstable, specific, and controllable attributions about the causes for unmet goals. GVE consistent attributions lead to guilt and selfblame, reduced self-efficacy, and greater probability that a lapse will lead to a full-blown relapse. Objectives: To determine if chronic pain patients make attributions regarding the causes of unmet goals consistent with the GVE and to determine differences for the GVE and the individual attributions making up the GVE among unmet coping skills, medication, exercise, social, and work goals. Methods: In the last week of an interdisciplinary pain program, patients stated 4 to 6 treatment goals. At 6 months follow-up, 100 patients rated the cause for each of their own unmet goals using 7-point scales assessing whether they made internal, stable, global, and uncontrollable attributions. Together, 165 unmet goals were rated and a GVE was calculated for each unmet goal by adding the 4 individual attributions and dividing by 4. Results: The GVE for each of the 5 goal types was above the midpoint toward model consistent attributions. A multivariate analysis of variance was significant for goal type (P

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-420
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Journal of Pain
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 1 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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