The Pain Experience: Meeting the Needs of Pain Patients by Stephanie Lynn Christianson
The Pain Experience: Meeting the Needs of Pain Patients
by Stephanie Lynn Christianson
Pain is difficult to define with certainty. Healthcare professionals are confronted with a high degree of complexity which affect the standards of care. The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) defines pain as, “An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage.” The experience of pain encompasses many factors which are frequently addressed only in part or neglected. The patient’s experience includes extensive emotional and psychological aspects which arise from sensory trauma in the body. The needs of a pain patient require more than treating the physiological symptoms. In order to fully address the comprehensive needs of the patient, emotional and psychological factors must be considered. To improve the quality of life of those living in pain, all contributory factors must be acknowledged and incorporated into the standard of care. If done successfully, the patient’s wellness is more likely to improve.