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The present study aims to expand our knowledge about the caregivers’ attentional bias to pain. Briefly, our results showed that caregivers demonstrate more attentional bias to painful faces than happy faces in comparison to control participants. Furthermore, we showed that attentional bias to pain was positively related to finding the behavioral pain cues. Finally, in contrast to our hypothesis, higher attentional bias to pain cues among caregivers did not relate to patients and caregivers’ disagreement in reporting pain behaviors.
The results of this study replicate the earlier findings on the existence of attentional bias to pain among family caregivers of chronic pain patients (Mohammadi et al., 2012) and parents of children with pain (Liossi et al., 2012; Vervoort et al., 2011). In detection of attentional biases to pain information one of the substantial elements is the nature of the stimuli. It is assumed that applying more salient (Khatibi et al., 2009; Roelofs, Peters, Fassaert, & Vlaeyen, 2005) and ecologically valid stimuli such as painful faces (Lautenbacher et al., 2013) compared to pain verbal stimuli (i.e. pain words), may increase the likelihood of observing attentional bias. Indeed, the previous studies on attentional bias among caregivers and parents (Liossi et al., 2012; Mohammadi et al., 2012; Vervoort et al., 2011) as well as the present study have used facial pain expressions which are more salient compared to pain related words. The results of these studies were also in line with the findings of the chronic pain patients’ studies that have used facial expressions of pain and confirm the existence of attentional bias to pain information among chronic pain patients (Khatibi et al., 2009; Mohammadi ...

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...nces with regard to the time that they spend with patients, the needs of their patients and their feeling about their caregiving style. Moreover, the sample size of the current study consisted of any caregivers beside their gender and type of relationship, the small number of participants in some groups of patient-caregiver relationship type does not allow us to compare caregivers based on their relationships.
Despite limitations, the results of the present study add to our knowledge about the role of attentional bias to pain information. The results demonstrated that caregivers’ attentional bias to pain has significant association with detection of pain behaviors. More importantly, our results suggest that caregivers’ attentional bias does not related to caregivers’ higher detection of pain behaviors compared to patients’ reports of their pain related behaviors.

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