This comprehensive yet practical handbook consolidates information needed by health psychologists working alongside other healthcare professionals. It facilitates the progression of the learner from the classroom to the clinical setting by focusing on the translation of science to practice using practical examples. The Handbook is divided into four major parts. Part I highlights practical issues faced by health psychologists in a medical setting (how to motivate patients, consultation-liaison, assessment and screening, brief psychotherapies, ethical issues, etc.) Part II concentrates on treating unhealthy behaviors (alcohol and nicotine use, noncompliance, overeating/obesity, physical inactivity, stress). Part III considers behavioral aspects of medical problems (pain management, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, sexual dysfunction, HIV/AIDS, irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia). And Part IV takes up special issues relevant to practice and research in the field (minority issues, women’s issues, working with geriatric populations, public health approaches to health psychology and behavioral medicine). The Handbook will prove to be an invaluable resource for those already working in the field of health psychology as well as for those in training.

Diagnostic and Treatment Considerations in Chronic Pain

Diagnostic and treatment considerations in chronic pain

Pain is a perceptual experience that includes sensory and emotional components associated with actual or threatened tissue damage (Merskey & Bogdale, 1994). Virtually everyone experiences pain at some time in his or her life, but for most individuals the pain experience is time limited and does not warrant clinical intervention. However, for some individuals, the pain problem persists and significantly disrupts daily functioning. Pain that persists for longer than 6 months is referred to as “chronic pain” (Keefe, 1982), and chronic pain is often associated with feelings of “demoralization, helplessness, hopelessness, and outright depression” (Turk, 1996, p. 3). The experience of chronic pain can be far-reaching, affecting numerous areas of an ...

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