Chronic pain is best understood from a biopsychosocial perspective. Pain can be described as a complex and multifaceted experience which emerges from the dynamic interplay of a patient’s physiological state, thoughts, emotions, behaviours, and sociocultural influences. So treatment is multi-disciplinary in nature, addressing self-management and coping strategies in learning to live with, and accept, a chronic pain condition.
Psychological research focuses on the ability of psychological approaches that mainly include cognitive behavioural therapy, and acceptance and commitment therapy. These are often delivered in the form of a Pain Management Programme (PMP), discussing mechanisms of positive change, and predictors of poor outcome and treatment resistance.
Research in the PMP Department is focused on investigating qualitative aspects of the pain experience in specialised groups of patients, for example, young adults, female pelvic pain, and facial pain. This also includes the development of measures of the patient’s quality of life.