Effects of chronic physical pain on empathy (Paperback)
Acute pain and chronic pain are conditions affecting millions of people worldwide. Acute pain is a normal physiological response associated with tissue damage that lasts upward of three to six months (Carr & Goudas, 1999). It is short duration and gradually resolves as the injured tissue heals. Examples of acute pain include a sprained ankle or small paper cut. Chronic pain is any pain that persists after an injury has healed, lasts longer than three to six months; can become worse over time; and can reoccur intermittently (Carr & Goudas, 1999). Examples of conditions that cause chronic pain are constant migraines, arthritis, and fibromyalgia. Chronic pain is a major health problem and one of the most common reasons people seek medical care (Johannes, Le, Zhou, Johnston & Dworkin, 2010), and is prevalent among one-third of the U.S. adult population. Furthermore, studies have shown that the prevalence of chronic pain is higher for females than males, that pain increases with age, and that lower socioeconomic status (SES) is typically associated with more pain (Johannes et al., 2010).