Pain and The Patient Environment: A U.S. Perspective

asian-mag-coverBy Susan E. Mazer, Ph.D.

Published in Asian Hospital & Healthcare Management, April 2018.

From the earliest beliefs in death being divine, to the use of prayer and rituals to ward off evil spirits, to the beginnings of science and medicine being codified by research, scientific discovery, and, now, to evidence-based practice, pain remains difficult to comprehend and manage.

For hundreds of years, the medical community believed 17th Century French philosopher Rene Descartes’ theory that the mind had no influence on the body. In 1967, the breakthrough work of Ronald Melzack and Patrick Wall finally opened the door to pain management being multi-disciplinary. That the mind could and does influence the experience of pain has created a plethora of studies that look at all aspects of the human experience.

And yet despite this, pain management has yet to be implemented successfully in the United States and other countries around the world. For years, patients were under-treated and pain was under-reported.

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