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Understanding Fear-Avoidance Beliefs and Chronic Pain

130 1 Hour
It has been well-established that patients with chronic pain will often avoid activities that may exacerbate their pain. In the basic fear-avoidance model, if individuals are especially sensitive to the negative experience of pain, this will result in pain-related fear of movement, avoidance of daily activities that may result in pain, as well as hypervigilance or over monitoring of bodily sensations of potential increase in pain. This fear-avoidance can, in turn, result in physical de-conditioning, depression, as well as disability/avoidance of work, recreation, and/or family activities.

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Clinical research has clearly revealed that this construct of fear-avoidance is closely associated with increased pain, physical disability, and long-term sick leave in chronic pain patients. Because it is so prevalent in chronic pain patients, psychometrically-sound instruments have been developed to measure fear-avoidance, such as the Fear of Daily Activities Questionnaire (FDAQ), the Tampa Scale of Kinesiophobia (TSK), and the more recent Fear-Avoidance Components Scale (FACS). Fortunately, there are now treatment techniques that can successfully reduce fear-avoidance beliefs and behaviors in patients with pain.

Learning Outcomes

The significance of fear-avoidance beliefs in chronic pain patients
Methods for measuring fear-avoidance beliefs
Methods for treating fear-avoidance beliefs in chronic pain patients

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