Psychosocial Aspects of Pain:

A Handbook

for Health Care Providers


Progress in Pain Research and Management, Volume 27

Editors: Robert H. Dworkin, PhD and William S. Breitbart, MD

2004  :  hardbound :  665 pages  :  ISBN 0-931092-48-5  :  US$89.00  (IASP members US$69.00) 

Table of Contents             Reviews                   Order Form                           IASP         

Psychosocial Aspects of Pain: A Handbook for Health Care Providers is intended to serve as a comprehensive resource for clinicians who wish to learn about the psychological, psychiatric, and social aspects of pain. Other books on these topics have targeted mental health specialists. This volume, however, has been prepared for a different audience—pain specialists and others in the health care professions, including physicians, nurses, and physical therapists, who would like to learn more about psychosocial issues in the evaluation and treatment of patients with painful conditions. Interest in these aspects of pain and in the particular challenges that often arise in treating pain patients is widespread in health care.

This handbook fills an important need by providing, in one convenient volume, a collection of focused reviews of all the information that health care providers need to know about psychosocial aspects of pain.

Table of Contents

Part I:  Conceptualizing Pain

Pain: Basic Mechanisms and Conscious Experience. C. Richard Chapman and Akiko Okifuji

The Influence of Family and Culture on Pain. John D. Otis, Lucille A. Cardella, and Robert D. Kerns

Biopsychosocial Models of Pain. Herta Flor and Christiane Hermann

Part II:  Evaluating Pain Patients

Evaluating Acute Pain. David A. Williams

Assessing Chronic Pain and Its Impact. Amanda C. de C. Williams

The Role of Psychological Testing and Diagnosis in Patients with Pain. Robert N. Jamison

Mood and Anxiety Disorders in Chronic Pain. Rollin M. Gallagher and Sunil Verma

Somatoform Disorders and Pain Complaints. Vicenzio Holder-Perkins and Thomas Wise

Screening Pain Patients for Invasive Procedures: A Review of the Evidence and Recommendations for Clinical Practice. Robert J. Gatchel, Ann Matt Maddrey, and Richard C. Robinson

Part III: Treating Pain Patients

What Are the Goals of Pain Treatment? Mark Sullivan

Principles of Psychopharmacology in Pain Treatment. J. Hampton Atkinson, Jr., Jonathan M. Meyer, and Mark A. Slater

The Essence of Cognitive-Behavioral Pain Management. Sandra J. Waters, Lisa C. Campbell, Francis J. Keefe, and James W. Carson

The Essence of Biofeedback, Relaxation, and Hypnosis.Frank Andrasik

Part IV: Complex Disorders

Fibromyalgia: A Patient-Oriented Perspective. Dennis C. Turk

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. Stephen Bruehl and Ok Yung Chung

Irritable Bowel Syndrome,and Chronic Pelvic Pain. Leslie J. Heinberg, Robert R. Edwards, and Jennifer A. Haythornthwaite

Recurrent Headache Disorders. Kenneth A. Holroyd

Temporomandibular Disorders. Richard Ohrbach and Jeffrey Sherman

Psychological and Psychiatric Dimensions of Palliative Care. William S. Breitbart and David K. Payne

Part V:  Specific Populations

Identifying and Treating Patients with Drug Abuse Problems. Steven D. Passik and Kenneth L. Kirsh

Psychosocial and Psychiatric Aspects of Pain in Children. Patrick J. McGrath

Psychosocial Aspects of Pain in Older People. Michael J. Farrell and Stephen J. Gibson

Part VI:  Special Issues

The Influence of Coping Styles and Personality Traits on Pain. Michael E. Geisser

Compensation Claims for Chronic Pain: Effects on Evaluation and Treatment. Raymond C. Tait

What Impact Does Childhood Experience Have on the Development of Chronic Pain? Stephen Morley

Risk Factors for Chronic Pain in Patients with Acute Pain and Their Implications for Prevention. Ellen L. Poleshuck and Robert H. Dworkin

Sex Differences in Pain Perceptions, Responses to Treatment, and Clinical Management. Christine Miaskowski and Jon D. Levine

Placebo Analgesia. Howard L. Fields                   

Order Form


    This is a comprehensive resource for health care professionals, detailing the psychological, psychiatric and social aspects of pain.  In contrast to other volumes on this topic that are written for specialists in mental health, this book is directed at all the clinicians involved in the management of pain.
The opening chapters discuss the biopsychosocial models of pain.  The second section deals with evaluating both acute and chronic pain.  In the chapters on evaluating and treating pain, the emphasis on the patients' perspective is welcome.  Part four is about complex disorders including complex regional pain syndrome and there is a chapter on the psychological and psychiatric dimensions of palliative care.  The management of pain in children, the elderly, and patients with drug abuse problems are dealt with in the next section.  The last section of the book deals with the influence of coping styles, personality traits and sex differences in the causation and management of pain.
The editors and IASP are to be congratulated for the production of this book.  It is a well-referenced, indexed, and comprehensive review of the non-physical aspects of pain management.  These include complex and difficult issues that confront health care professionals on a daily basis, and this volume certainly has a place on the library shelf of any pain or palliative care service.  International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC)

Order Form

For additional information:
IASP Secretariat
909 NE 43rd St., Suite 306
Seattle, WA 98105-6020, USA
Tel: 206-547-6409
Fax: 206-547-1703
WWW: and


This page was updated on May 28, 2004