Pain: Theory, Research, and Intervention

Pain: Theory, Research, and Intervention

Pain: Theory, Research, and Intervention

Pain: Theory, Research, and Intervention


• What explanations have been advanced for pain and and what are their shortcomings?

• How do theoretical models account for apparent anomalies in the experience of pain?

• What are the implications for clinical practice and how has practice guided theory?

Psychology has made an enormous contribution to the understanding of pain and its phenomena, mechanisms, and treatments. This book explores and integrates current research in key areas of pain and pain management from a psychological perspective, and places recent developments in an historical context.

The experience of pain cannot be captured in physiological terms, and treatments based on physical models are often inadequate. This book explores the multidimensional nature of pain mechanisms, including the roles of past experience, culture and personality, and considers the implications for research and treatment. The approach is primarily theoretical, but with a significant emphasis on clinical practice and application. This balance is often lacking in comparable texts, and is enhanced by the professional and research background of the authors.

This clear and approachable text includes self-contained chapters that can be regarded as units of study and a unified glossary of terms completes the package. It is designed to provide a key resource for advanced undergraduate and postgraduate courses in health psychology, clinical psychology and social psychology as well as students and practitioners in health and social welfare.


This new series of books in health psychology is designed to support postgraduate and postqualification studies in psychology, nursing, medicine and paramedical sciences, as well as the establishment of health psychology within the undergraduate psychology curriculum. Health psychology is growing rapidly as a field of study. Concerned as it is with the application of psychological theories and models in the promotion and maintenance of health, and the individual and interpersonal aspects of adaptive behaviour in illness and disability, health psychology has a wide remit and a potentially important role to play in the future.

In this book, theory, research and interventions in the universal phenomenon of pain, an issue of central concern in health psychology, are explored. Melzack and Wall's theory of a gating mechanism in pain perception represented a conceptual leap forward, and was the beginning of an interdisciplinary approach in which the interwoven nature of psychological, neurological and physiological factors in pain were acknowledged and developed. The first part of the book is concerned with the history of thought about pain and the development of theories and research. In the second part, the practical applications of knowledge and theory are examined. Psychology has made a number of crucially important contributions to this field of study, and it is timely to review the current status of theory, research and practice in pain, to set them in the context of historical development, and to look to possibilities for the future.

Sheila Payne and Sandra Horn . . .

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