Relationship between Future Orientation and Pain Severity in Fibromyalgia Patients: Self-Compassion as a Coping Mechanism

Jul 22, 2019

m_coverIn a recent issue of the journal Social Work, published by NASW and Oxford University Press, researchers revealed their findings from a study that examined the relationship between future orientation and fibromyalgia-related pain severity in a sample of 287 adults with fibromyalgia.

Specifically, the authors examined dimensions of self-compassion (for example, self-kindness, isolation, mindfulness) as possible mechanisms through which future orientation might be associated with pain severity. The results of conducting a multiple mediator test with 10,000 bootstraps indicated that the significant negative association between future orientation and pain severity was mediated through one specific self-compassion dimension, namely, isolation.

The article concludes with a discussion of the implications of the present findings for working with fibromyalgia patients, specifically the potential value of social workers working with fibromyalgia patients to build future orientation as a resilience factor to combat pain severity. Also discussed is the value of working with patients to develop a sustainable social support system that can disrupt experiences of social isolation and disconnectedness from others, and which appear to contribute to greater pain severity.


The journal Social Work is a benefit of NASW membership. It is available online or, at a member’s request, in print. Children & Schools, Health & Social Work and Social Work Research are available by subscription at a discounted rate for NASW members, either online or in print. You can find out more about the journals and subscriptions at this link.