Pain Management Key: Communication and Relationships

In an address to attendees at the European League Against Rheumatism, experts stated that the psychological aspects of managing chronic pain play a large part in patient behavior and treatment adherence. Chronic pain treatment is difficult and tricky, and patients need absolute trust in their pain management provider.

Trust is essential. Kevin E. Vowles, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Psychology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, stated, “Psychology is all about behavior change…and the ultimate outcome of treatment is not to alter an internal perception but to change the way patients respond to their pain so that they can get on with their lives, ideally in a manner that also allows increased engagement in valued and meaningful activity.” Therapies mentioned as psychological strategies for chronic pain treatment include cognitive behavior therapy and mindfulness.

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