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Can positive affect attenuate (persistent) pain? State of the art and clinical implications

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Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Pain is an intense experience that can place a heavy burden on peoples' lives. The identification of psychosocial risk factors led to the development of effective pain treatments. However, effect sizes are modest. Accumulating evidence suggests that enhancing protective factors might also impact on (well-being despite) pain. Recent findings on positive affect (interventions) towards pain-related outcomes will be reviewed, and new avenues for treatment of persistent pain will be discussed.

RECENT FINDINGS: Positive affect significantly attenuates the experience of pain in healthy and clinical populations. Positive affect interventions effectively reduce pain sensitivity and bolster well-being despite pain. Through both psychological and (neuro-)biological pathways, but also through its effect on central treatment processes such as inhibitory learning, positive affect can optimize the efficacy of existing treatments. Comprehensive understanding of the unique roles and dynamic interplay of positive and negative affect in moderating pain may optimize the treatment of (persistent) pain.

    Research areas

  • Journal Article, Review, RHEUMATOID-ARTHRITIS, LEARNING-DEFICITS, EVERYDAY LIFE, MOVEMENT-RELATED PAIN, LONG-TERM OUTCOMES, PSYCHOLOGY INTERVENTION, NEGATIVE AFFECT, Persistent pain, Positive affect, Positive psychology interventions, Resilience, Pain, CHRONIC MUSCULOSKELETAL PAIN, FEAR-AVOIDANCE MODEL, CHRONIC BACK-PAIN
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Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number80
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Rheumatology Reports
Volume19
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017