Acceptance and related processes in adjustment to chronic pain

Title:Acceptance and related processes in adjustment to chronic pain
Author(s):Miles Thompson, Lance M. McCracken
Outlet:Current Pain and Headache Reports
Abstract Summary:Chronic pain poses significant challenges in the lives of many people. At the root of many of these challenges are the behavior patterns pain naturally coordinates. For example, in some cases, attempts to control, reduce, or cure pain through medication, medical procedures, or lifestyle changes can prove unsuccessful, and can dominate all other potential goals. The experience of chronic pain also includes other discouraging, painful, or unwanted psychological experiences, such as thoughts, feelings, and memories. Attempts to control or reduce some of these psychological experiences also can prove unsuccessful and even harmful, further reducing quality of life. This review highlights recent evidence for the utility of acceptance as an alternative when control-based methods are unsuccessful. It describes evidence from experimental, clinical, and treatment outcome studies. The review also notes how work in this area is drawing attention to the wider concept of ‘psychological flexibility’, an overarching process that includes other component processes, such as mindfulness and values.
Keyword(s):acceptance, chronic pain, review, acceptance and commitment therapy, ACT, psychological flexibility
Reference:Thompson, M. & McCracken, L. M. (2011). Acceptance and related processes in adjustment to chronic pain. Current Pain and Headache Reports. 15, 144-151. doi: 10.1007/s11916-010-0170-2
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