Psychological therapies for the management of chronic pain

Pain is a complex stressor that presents a significant challenge to most aspects of functioning and contributes to substantial physical, psychological, occupational, and financial cost, in its chronic form

John Sturgeon

2014

Scholarcy highlights

  • Pain is a complex stressor that presents a significant challenge to most aspects of functioning and contributes to substantial physical, psychological, occupational, and financial cost, in its chronic form
  • Chronic pain no longer signals damage to the body and is instead a detriment to the physical and psychological well-being of the sufferer
  • Recurrent pain may contribute to development of maladaptive cognitions and behavior that worsen daily functioning, increase psychiatric distress, or prolong the experience of pain.5 ¬≠Individuals suffering from chronic pain tend to show increased vulnerability to a variety of psychiatric conditions, including depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, and posttraumatic stress disorder
  • There are several distinct psychological interventions that differ in their theoretical approaches, therapeutic targets, and areas of efficacy, but Cognitive-behavioral therapy, ACT, mindfulness-based stress reduction, and operant behavioral approaches to pain may all play important roles for enhancing the self-management abilities of individuals with chronic pain
  • There remains a need to identify predictors of differential treatment response and salient patient subgroups to optimize treatment outcomes, as well as additional and alternative means to provision of psychological services for those who are unwilling or unable to engage in traditional psychotherapy
  • More empirical research into contributing factors of differential treatment response and the dissemination of psychological treatment for pain may result in significant savings to the physical, emotional, and financial costs of chronic pain

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