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Understanding Chronic Pain and the Mind-Body Connection

McCaffrey, Ruth ARNP, ND; Frock, Terri L. EdD, MSN, ARNP, BC; Garguilo, Heidi MSN, ARNP

Continuing Education

This article investigates the mind-body connection in chronic pain. A discussion of pain physiology is designed to identify the role of the neurological system in chronic pain perception. The gate control theory and the neurotransmitter theory of pain are explored. A description of mind-body and pain management methods, and an illustrative case study are provided. The information presented concerning mind-body connection in chronic pain perception will enable practicing nurses to be more fully aware of the chronic pain phenomenon, and lead to better chronic pain assessment, management, and evaluation.

From the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Lake Worth, Fla (McCaffrey)

Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, Florida Atlantic University, Davie Campus, Davie, Lake Worth, Fla (Frock)

The John F. Kennedy Medical Center, Lake Worth, Fla. (Heidi)

Corresponding author: Ruth McCaffrey, ARNP, ND, Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, Florida Atlantic University, 777 Glades Rd, Boca Raton, FL 33431 (e-mail: rmccaffr@fau.edu).

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© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.