Pain Psychology and Perioperative Pain Management



The experience of pain is a complex phenomenon which encompasses internal processes of sensation, perception, emotion, memory, cognition, and learning that interact with external factors such as culture, socioeconomic status, and the social environment. All these contribute to overall suffering whether pain is acute or chronic in nature. Psychological factors help paint a more complete picture of the dynamic processes involved in pain as it waxes and wanes in intensity and chronicity. From this understanding, psychological interventions have been developed to help individuals cope with and accept pain by learning to confront aversive physical sensations in creative ways rather than simply avoiding them. Oftentimes, these skills cannot be learned, internalized, and enacted within a perioperative timeframe. A comprehensive and coordinated effort in the pre- and postoperative phases would potentially have the greatest positive effect on outcomes.


Postsurgical pain Pain psychology Pain behaviors Pain cognitions Catastrophization Psychological interventions Cognitive behavioral therapy Mindfulness 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnesthesiologyStony Brook Medicine Pain DivisionStony BrookUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral HealthStony Brook MedicineStony BrookUSA
  3. 3.Departments of Anesthesiology and PsychiatryColumbia University Irving Medical Center, Columbia University College of Physicians and SurgeonsNew YorkUSA

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