Send to

Choose Destination
J Hand Ther. 1997 Apr-Jun;10(2):183-91.

Psychological influences on pain perception and non-pharmacologic approaches to the treatment of pain.

Author information

Department of Psychology, Ithaca College, NY 14850, USA.


Pain is a complex process, in part because it is mediated by so many different variables. However, because pain is the primary reason for seeking medical treatment and often a barrier to compliance, therapists treating painful disorders or injuries need to be familiar with those factors that influence pain perception and treatment approaches. How individuals perceive pain, and hence how clinicians treat it, depends upon a wide variety of psychosocial factors, including mood, age, gender, expectations, social support, and perceptions of control. Even the manner with which therapists interact with patients can minimize the pain experience and ultimately impact compliance and recovery rates. This paper overviews the multifaceted nature of pain by outlining how psychologic variables impact pain experiences. In addition, this article reviews a number of nonpharmacologic techniques and approaches (i.e., distraction, imagery, relaxation, biofeedback) that are available for assisting patients in dealing with pain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center