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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Mark A. Lumley


This exploratory study examined the relationship between patients’ individual differences (emotional processing, previous psychological treatment, and symptom attribution), their performance in a stress and health focused diagnostic interview, and how the performance in the interview was associated with patients’ concurrent pain, somatic, and psychological health symptoms. Participants were 42 primary care patients with medically unexplained symptoms. Audio recordings of patients’ diagnostic interviews were coded for several performance variables (disclosure, emotional engagement, working alliance, psychological mindedness, and alexithymic characteristics); subsequently, Pearson correlations and partial correlations were conducted to examine the relationship between patient individual differences, interview performance, and health status. Study results suggest that some patient individual differences and characteristics can predict their performance in an emotion-focused stress and health diagnostic interview. The results of this study also suggest that patients’ performance style in the interview can be related to self-report pain symptoms at baseline. Implications and future directions are discussed.

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