The relationship of parental bonding to depression in patients with chronic pain
Attachment theory is a theory of normal development as well as a theory of psychopathology. Attachment theory and research suggests that different types of parental bonding can be important determinants of illness behaviour, depression, pain perception and treatment response in individuals with chronic pain. Different types of parental bonding have been shown to be associated with specific personality characteristics and a variety of psychiatric disorders. We assessed 65 patients with chronic pain who visited the pain management unit of Larissa University Hospital in Greece. All patients completed the Parental Bonding Instrument, the Beck Depression Inventory and the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) for pain. Results demonstrated that patients who reported an affectionless bonding (overprotective and insensitive) with their parents, and especially their mother, reported significantly greater depression and higher VAS scores. Conversely, chronic pain patients with an optimal parental bonding reported lower depression and VAS scores. These findings suggest that parental bonding style could be a useful construct for examining factors affecting psychiatric disorders and pain perception in patients with chronic pain. © 2010 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin New York.