Acute pain: A psychosocial perspective


Book Section

© Cambridge University Press, 2009 and Raymond S. Sinatra, Oscar A. de Leon-Casasola, Brian Ginsberg, Eugene R. Viscusi. Our understanding of the psychosocial aspects of pain has advanced considerably since the early 1980s. Much has been learned about psychosocial factors that influence pain and psychosocial interventions that can enhance pain control. Recently, there has been growing interest in applying the psychosocial perspective to enhance our understanding and ability to treat acute pain. This chapter focuses specifically on psychosocial aspects of acute pain. The chapter is divided into four sections. The first section provides a conceptual background on psychosocial aspects of acute pain. The second section highlights research on the role of psychosocial factors in acute pain. The third summarizes the results of recent studies testing the efficacy of psychosocial interventions for acute pain. The chapter concludes with a discussion of future directions for work in this important area. Conceptual Background: Traditionally, acute pain has been understood using a biomedical model. According to this model, acute pain is a warning signal that results from nociceptive input as a result of tissue damage or injury. In the biomedical approach, careful assessments are conducted to identify sources of tissue damage or injury that are causing pain. Medical and/or surgical interventions designed to correct or ameliorate underlying tissue damage or injury are then carried out to eliminate or reduce pain. In the biomedical model, psychosocial factors play a secondary role in that they are viewed simply as responses to pain itself.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Keefe, FJ

Published Date

  • January 1, 2009

Book Title

  • Acute Pain Management

Start / End Page

  • 41 - 52

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9780521874915

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1017/CBO9780511576706.005

Citation Source

  • Scopus