Communication and Palliative Care: E-Health Interventions and Pain Management

Chapter

Abstract

Pain is both a biological and symbolic phenomenon. Every physical manifestation of pain is embedded in symbolic interpretations of pain. Effective pain management treats both the physiological and symbolic aspects of pain. Typical medical interventions for pain management, such as medication and surgery, are best suited for treating the physiological aspects of pain and are less effective for influencing the symbolic aspects of pain. Strategic health communication interventions, however, can have powerful therapeutic influences on symbolic interpretations of pain. Communication has been shown to help consumers cope with pain by helping them increase their understanding about the causes of pain, their unique patterns of pain incidence, and the best strategies for pain management. Yet, access to therapeutic communication, particularly at the points in time when it is most needed, is often limited for many pain sufferers. This chapter describes the potential to use new electronic health (e-health) communication interventions to increase access to therapeutic health communication and to promote effective long-term pain management.

Keywords

Fatigue Depression 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of CommunicationGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA

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