Inflammation can contribute to the experience of chronic pain and research suggests that anti-inflammatory supplements can decrease pain levels (Marchand, 2005), such as curcumin, vitamin C, and ginger (Lakhan, 2015; Jäger, 2019; & Aïma, 2017). Research also indicates that how people think about their health can influence health outcomes.  For example, temporal comparisons are a self-evaluative mechanism used by individuals in comparing their past or future selves to the present (Ferring & Hoffman, 2007). Temporal comparisons have been linked to positive health behaviors for patients engaged in tobacco cessation and positive affect in individuals positive with HIV (Menninga, 2011; Bogart et al., 2002).  There is a dearth of research examining the combination of supplements and temporal comparisons in any health population, including individuals with chronic pain.  A multidisciplinary healthcare team at UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s Hospital created a supplement consisting of curcumin, vitamin C, and ginger. The current study used a double-blind randomized clinical trial to examine the effect of this supplement on health-related quality of life variables.  Patients enrolled in the trial received either a placebo (N=62) or the supplement (N=58) and were asked a series of questions related to anticipation of health outcomes and physical and emotional well-being, measured by the PROMIS-43 Profile (Cella et al., 2010).  Temporal comparisons assessed patient anticipations of health outcomes.  Results revealed that patients who took the supplement had decreased pain interference related to sleep disturbance over the course of the study. Patients who anticipated positive health outcomes experienced a significant decrease in depression and anxiety 16 weeks later. Additionally, patients who anticipated being satisfied with their pain management treatment had lower anxiety and depression at the follow-up timepoint. From a clinical standpoint, results suggest the potential relevance of patient attitudes and beliefs on health outcomes.

Cedar Rapids

UnityPoint Health St. Luke’s Hospital
1026 A Ave NE
5th Floor
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
(319) 369-7331


UnityPoint Health Finley Hospital
350 N Grandview Ave
Third Floor
Dubuque, IA 52001
(563) 557-2894


UnityPoint Health Jones Regional
1795 HWY. 64 E.
Anamosa, IA 52205
(319) 462-6131