Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Phillip J. Brantley


Eighty (80) elective cholecystectomy patients volunteered to participate in the present study which assessed the relation between past illness behavior and the report of pain following surgery. A review of the literature indicated that demographic variables (e.g., sex, age) and general psychological variables (e.g. state anxiety) have been the subject of many studies attempting to predict postoperative pain, yet learning and behavioral factors such as past illness behavior and familial modelling of illness behavior have not. Preoperative assessments included the Illness Behavior Inventory (IBI; Turkat, 1983), the Familial Illness Behavior Inventory (IBI-F; derived from the IBI), the State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and the Eysenck Personality Inventory (EPI). Postoperative pain scores consisted of a Visual Analogue Scale of pain, the McGill Pain Questionnaire, and the amount of postoperative narcotic analgesics required. Results of multiple regression analyses revealed that the Social Illness Behavior factor of the IBI and the mother rating of the IBI-F were significant predictors of postoperative pain scores. The psychological variables of state anxiety, trait anxiety, and neuroticism (EPI) had been obtained in order to compare their efficacy with the illness behavior variables in the prediction of postoperative pain. These particular psychological variables had been demonstrated by other researchers to be relatively reliable predictors of pain report following surgery. When the illness behavior measures and the psychological measures were both entered as independent variables, postoperative pain was predicted most generally from both state anxiety (STAI) and the Social Illness Behavior factor of the IBI. Apparently, illness behavior and anxiety are valuable predictors of pain both singly and in combination. Implications of these data for future research in the prediction and management of postoperative pain are discussed.