Do single people suffer more?

Do single people suffer more?

The mere presence of a partner may reduce pain

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Print this page Email A Friend!

RESEARCHERS at the University of Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology (UMIT, Hall, Austria) and the University of the Balearic Islands (Palma de Mallorca, Spain) have confirmed the analgesic effects of social support — even without verbal or physical contact.

The short communication, entitled “Dispositional empathy is associated with experimental pain reduction during provision of social support by romantic partners” by Stefan Duschek, Lena Nassauer, Casandra I Montoro, Angela Bair, and Pedro Montoya has recently been published in the Scandinavian Journal of Pain.

The authors assessed sensitivity to pressure pain in 48 heterosexual couples with each participant tested alone and in the passive presence of their partner. Dispositional empathy was quantified by a questionnaire.

In the presence, as compared to the absence, of their partners, both men and women exhibited higher pain thresholds and tolerance as well as lower sensory and affective pain ratings on constant pressure stimuli. Partner empathy was positively associated with pain tolerance and inversely associated with sensory pain experience.

“Repeatedly, talking and touching have been shown to reduce pain, but our research shows that even the passive presence of a romantic partner can reduce it and that partner empathy may buffer affective distress during pain exposure,” said Professor Stefan Duschek of UMIT, speaking on behalf of the authors.

Science Daily

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon