Pain and cigarette smoking are commonly co-occurring and costly public health issues, and rates of both conditions are elevated among persons living with HIV (PLWH). Recent work has focused on elucidating the role of cognitive factors in pain-smoking interrelations, and PLWH have endorsed various beliefs regarding pain and smoking. There is reason to suspect that pain self-efficacy (i.e., belief in one’s ability to cope with pain) may be associated with the maintenance of smoking. However, no previous research has examined relations between pain self-efficacy and motivation to quit. The goal of this study was to conduct the first test of cross-sectional associations between pain self-efficacy and motivation to quit smoking among PLWH. Race was tested as a moderator of the hypothesized associations. Participants (N = 76 daily smokers; 37% female; M = 50.6; M = 13.7) were recruited from an outpatient infectious disease clinic for a primary study examining the effects of a personalized feedback intervention for PLWH. Results indicated that pain self-efficacy was positively associated with perceived importance of quitting and intention to quit within the next six months across the entire sample (ps < 0.05), and positively associated with readiness to consider smoking cessation and confidence in quitting among Black/African American participants (but not among other participants; ps < 0.05). These data provide initial evidence that pain self-efficacy may be related to motivation and intention to quit smoking, particularly among Black/African American PLWH. Future research should test prospective associations between pain self-efficacy and the initiation/maintenance of smoking cessation.
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