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Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2016 Jun;20(6):39. doi: 10.1007/s11916-016-0567-7.

The Role of Resilience in the Clinical Management of Chronic Pain.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Chronic Pain & Fatigue Research Center, University of Michigan, Domino's Farms, Lobby M, 24 Frank Lloyd Wright Drive, PO Box 385, Ann Arbor, MI, 48106, USA.
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA.


Chronic pain affects more individuals than does cancer, heart disease, and diabetes combined. Yet, our treatment options remain remarkably limited. Often, highly effective psychotherapeutic approaches are limited by many barriers such as access, reimbursement, and acceptability; however, resilience-based positive activity interventions could offer a promising alternative. These interventions are engaging, non-stigmatizing, and do not require a mental health professional for their provision. This article reviews the new, but limited, research exploring the use of positive activity interventions for the treatment of patients with chronic pain. The related psychological and biological mechanisms are addressed, as are suggestions for more systematically evaluating the potential for positive activity interventions to become an adjunct to or stand-alone intervention strategy for patients with chronic pain.


Chronic pain; Fibromyalgia; Inflammation; Positive activity interventions; Positive affect; Resilience; Well-being

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