Thursday, September 22nd
Plenary Lecture | Virtual Program
Plenary Room Level 800
Lessons for Clinicians and Researchers Across the Lifespan: What Acute Pain Research With Young Children Can Teach Us All
Despite centuries of research focused on elucidating answers regarding pain, research continues to progress without a definitive essential definition. Using research from the largest longitudinal studies to date studying the development of acute pain responses over the first five years of life, the current paper reviews four key lessons about understanding pain that reverberates across the lifespan. First, it is argued that early social relationships may fundamentally influence anticipatory threat appraisals that modulate pain perception. Second, evidence is presented that managing pain may be more about what you do not do, than what you do. Third, to best manage pain-related distress, it is best to manage distress before the pain. Finally, the fourth lesson sets out to encourage a healthy distrust when other people report on another’s pain. Ironically, these lessons postulate that deciphering the fundamental mysteries that define pain requires studying factors beside the noxious stimuli and organism response.