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Motivational Issues in Pain Management 

Motivational Issues in Pain Management
Motivational Issues in Pain Management

Robert D. Kerns

, Mark P. Jensen

, and Warren R. Nielson

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date: 16 May 2022

In this chapter we describe a motivational model of pain self-management and discuss its potential relevance in clinical situations. Briefly, according to the model, patients’ readiness to engage in pain self-management at the time of acute injury or illness, or even in the context of the emergence of unexplained pain, is expected to influence their coping responses to pain, their efforts to acquire and use new adaptive pain coping strategies, and ultimately, the course of pain and the likelihood that pain will resolve. We also describe methods for assessing motivation and readiness to adopt a self-management approach to chronic pain, methods for promoting motivation for pain treatment and for learning and implementing adaptive pain-coping skills, and strategies for tailoring pain treatment to patient preferences, interests, and expectations for treatment. We conclude the chapter with a more explicit discussion of the implications of the motivational model and motivational issues for understanding and addressing the process of transitioning from acute to chronic pain, and for preventing this transition.

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