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J Clin Psychol. 2011 Sep;67(9):942-68. doi: 10.1002/jclp.20816. Epub 2011 Jun 6.

Pain and emotion: a biopsychosocial review of recent research.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Wayne State University, 5057 Woodward Ave., 7th Floor, Detroit, Michigan 48202, USA. mlumley@wayne.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE AND METHOD:

Research on emotion and pain has burgeoned. We review the last decade's literature, focusing on links between emotional processes and persistent pain.

RESULTS:

Neurobiological research documents the neural processes that distinguish affective from sensory pain dimensions, link emotion and pain, and generate central nervous system pain sensitization. Psychological research demonstrates that greater pain is related to emotional stress and limited emotional awareness, expression, and processing. Social research shows the potential importance of emotional communication, empathy, attachment, and rejection.

CONCLUSIONS:

Emotions are integral to the conceptualization, assessment, and treatment of persistent pain. Research should clarify when to eliminate or attenuate negative emotions, and when to access, experience, and express them. Theory and practice should integrate emotion into cognitive-behavioral models of persistent pain.

PMID:
21647882
PMCID:
PMC3152687
DOI:
10.1002/jclp.20816
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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