Wednesday, September 21st
Plenary Lecture | Virtual Program
Plenary Room Level 800
John D. Loeser Award Lecture: The Biopsychosocial Model of Pain Is Now 40 Years Old: Time for a Reappraisal?
The biopsychosocial model of pain has been generally credited with providing a unifying perspective for clinicians and researchers in extending our understanding of pain and guiding our treatments of pain (Dworkin et a., 2021). This model is commonly referred to in the opening lines of texts on pain and pain management. But it’s not always clear how it has been used to inform treatments for pain. This phenomenon was described by Flor and Turk (2011) as a tendency for pain researchers and clinicians to work in isolated silos. It is unrealistic to expect researchers or clinicians to consider how everything they do might fit within a biopsychosocial framework, but if there is almost universal acceptance of the concept by these groups then it would seem important to take stock of how the concept is being used in practice and whether is proving useful. In particular, we should expect that treatments for pain are more effective when based on a biopsychosocial framework than when this is not the case. This paper will address these issues and provide suggestions for where we might go from here.