Tag Archives: biopsychosocial

Bad thoughts can’t make you sick, that’s magical thinking

Bad thoughts can’t make you sick, that’s just magical thinking – Angela Kennedy | Aeon Ideas

The belief that physical illness can be psychosomatic, or caused by the mind, has long been seductive, capturing the imagination of doctors and writers alike.

Does this sound familiar? All the latest non-drug bio-psycho-social treatments of chronic pain are based on this flawed concept.

Contemporary, ad hoc resurrections of the concept of hysteria, now called conversion disorder, are commonly diagnosed by doctors and accepted by patients.  Continue reading


Pain is largely a misunderstood construct

Pain – Thomas Dikel – Medium – Aug 2017

Pain is largely a misunderstood construct. This is odd, as everyone has experience with pain, and it has been studied extensively. Nevertheless, it remains a mystery, even to those who believe they know it best.

What we understand as pain is not a unilateral function. There are in fact two basic and primary components to pain.

The first is the obvious: the physical or “nociceptive” aspect, which involves specific and particular nerve cells that respond to specific and particular stimuli.  Continue reading

Being Judged: The Swinging Pendulum and Pain Mgmt

Being Judged:The Swinging Pendulum and Pain Management  Kathleen Hoffman on Apr 10, 2017

Did you know that before the year 2000, poor pain management was called a major medical problem and was synonymous with poor medical care in the US?

On January 1, 2001, Congress declared 2001 to 2010 the Decade of Pain Control and Research.

Assuring that effective pain management occurred in hospitals, in 2003, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCOH) added pain management criteria to the requirements they establish for hospital accreditation.   Continue reading

Blaming a patients’ doubts about “getting better”

How doubts about getting better influence chronic pain treatment success | Scienmag: Latest Science and Health News – May 2017

A leading psychology professor at The University of Texas at Arlington has focused international attention on how a chronic pain patient’s irrational doubts about never getting better can influence both his reactions to pain and even treatment outcomes.

Irrational? When your pain comes from a genetic flaw, it cannot “get better”.

This dismissiveness is typical of doctors who assume your complaints are just normal aches and pains or from a temporary injury.    Continue reading

Individual differences make pain personal

Individual differences in pain: understanding the mosaic that makes pain personal: PAIN – Fillingim, Roger B. – Pain: April 2017

In Brief: The experience of pain is characterized by tremendous interindividual variability, which is driven by multiple biopsychosocial factors.

This review article discusses individual differences in pain, including the roles of demographic, genetic, and psychosocial factors and their interactions

The public can only access the first page of this report as a JPEG picture, but if you enlarge it you can read the text (even though it seems to have been intentionally blurred).  Continue reading

No need for additional psychosocial therapy treatment

When Added to Opioid Agonist Treatment, Psychosocial Interventions do not Further Reduce the Use of Illicit Opioids: A Comment on Dugosh et al. – PubMed – NCBI – J Addict Med. 2016 Jul-Aug;

This commentary reviews the limitations of the recent literature review by that examined the role of psychosocial interventions with medication for opioid addiction treatment.

The commonly held belief that opioid agonist treatment alone is inferior treatment to such treatment combined with ‘psychosocial’ treatment (which many will understand to mean counseling) is not supported by the research evidence and it results in limitations on the use of these effective medications.   

Below is the review addressed by this commentary:   Continue reading

Pain According to Modern Pain Science

Reconceptualising Pain According to Modern Pain Science – Body in Mind – G. Lorimer Moseley – Oxford Centre for fMRI of the Brain – Free full-text article

This paper argues that the biology of pain is never really straightforward,even when it appears to be.

It is proposed that understanding what is currently known about the biology of pain requires a reconceptualisation of what pain actually is, and how it serves our livelihood.   Continue reading

The Biopsychosocial Model and Its Limitations

The Biopsychosocial Model and Its Limitations | Psychology Today |  Oct 30, 2015 | Gregg Henriques Ph.D

The Biopsychosocial Model is the currently accepted model for chronic pain used by all medical practitioners. I’ve only recently come to question it since a particularly cruel pain experiment with mice purported to find that “opioids prolong pain” in general.

If our pain is a biopsychosocial disorder, then such animal torture is not an appropriate model.

In 1977, George Engel famously argued that medicine in general and psychiatry in particular ought to shift from a bio-medical perspective of disease to a biopsychosocial (BPS) perspective on health.  Continue reading