Funding sources No external funding (internal funding from Radboud University Nijmegen).
CLINICAL AND LABORATORY INVESTIGATIONS
Role of induced negative and positive emotions in sensitivity to itch and pain in women
Article first published online: 11 JUN 2012
© 2012 The Authors. BJD © 2012 British Association of Dermatologists
British Journal of Dermatology
Volume 167, Issue 2, pages 262–269, August 2012
How to Cite
van Laarhoven, A.I.M., Walker, A.L., Wilder-Smith, O.H., Kroeze, S., van Riel, P.L.C.M., van de Kerkhof, P.C.M., Kraaimaat, F.W. and Evers, A.W.M. (2012), Role of induced negative and positive emotions in sensitivity to itch and pain in women. British Journal of Dermatology, 167: 262–269. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2012.10933.x
Conflicts of interest None declared.
- Issue published online: 26 JUL 2012
- Article first published online: 11 JUN 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 8 MAR 2012 02:45PM EST
- Accepted for publication 29 February 2012
Background Itch and pain are common symptoms in skin disease. It has been suggested that negative emotions may play a role in itch and pain. To date, however, the role of emotions has only been studied for pain in experimental studies, not yet for itch.
Objectives To investigate the effects of negative and positive emotions on the sensitivity to itch and pain.
Methods Film fragments were used to induce a negative or positive emotional state in healthy women. Itch and pain were induced using the following somatosensory stimuli: electrical stimulation, histamine iontophoresis and the cold pressor test.
Results Results showed that the scores for itch and pain evoked by histamine and the cold pressor test, respectively, were significantly higher in the negative than in the positive emotion condition, whereas tolerance thresholds to electrical stimulation and the cold pressor test, and stimulus unpleasantness scores did not differ between the two conditions.
Conclusions These findings for the first time indicate in an experimental design that emotions play a role in sensitivity to somatosensory sensations of both itch and pain.