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Pain and emotion: a biopsychosocial review of recent research.

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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.
 
Full text available here.
 
Source:  Lumley MA, Cohen JL, Borszcz GS, Cano A, Radcliffe AM, Porter LS, Schubiner H, Keefe FJ. Pain and emotion: a biopsychosocial review of recent research. J Clin Psychol. 2011 Sep;67(9):942-68. doi: 10.1002/jclp.20816. Epub 2011 Jun 6.

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