Contributions of psychology to the understanding and treatment of people with chronic pain
Due to the subjective nature of the experience of pain, there are currently no objective measures to validate the spread of an individual’s pain. Asking patients about their pain and observing their behaviour are therefore very important. The authors of this article provide an overview of some psychological principles and models of pain that contributed greatly to our current understanding of chronic pain.
The groundbreaking publication of the gate control theory by psychologist Ronald Melzack and anatomist Patrick Wall resulted in a shift in our understanding of pain with the primary focus from peripheral to central processes. Unfortunately there are still many patients (and even some health care providers) that view pain in mostly biomedical terms.
At present, most medical, pharmacological, and surgical treatments for patients with CP are inadequate and only moderately effective at best. Modern chronic pain treatment aims to treat pain as a multifaceted problem that requires ongoing self-management and not merely a biomedical fix. > From: Jensen & Turk, Am Psychol 69 (2014) 105–118. All rights reserved to the American Psychological Association.
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