Duke, S. (2006) Pain. In, Alexander, Margaret F., Fawcett, Josephine (Tonks) N. and Runciman, Phyllis J. (eds.) Nursing practice: hospital and home: the adult: 3rd edition. Oxford, UK, Churchill Livingstone, 735-761.


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Although pain is a common experience, it is a complex one, unique for each individual every time it is experienced. The experience of pain is influenced by an interaction between physiological, psychological and sociocultural factors and encompasses sensory, emotional, cognitive and behavioural components (Melzack & Wall 1996). This means that it is difficult to understand what pain is like for another person. Much is known about the athophysiology of pain and treatment modalities but less about the lived experience of pain. Research is beginning to address this deficit, through studies that vividly portray the individual’s personal description of their pain experience, and also those which focus on clinical decision making about pain management. This chapter will commence with two such personal descriptions, followed by a discussion of various definitions of pain. The many and complex factors which influence the experience of pain will then precede discussion of the mechanisms of pain and the implications for nursing care.

Item Type: Book Section
ISBNs: 0443074577 (paperback)
Related URLs:
Keywords: nursing care, health professionals, complexities of pain, pain managment, nursing assessment
Subjects: R Medicine > RT Nursing
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Q Science > QP Physiology
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > Superseded (SONM) > Superseded (HSR)
University Structure - Pre August 2011 > Superseded (SONM) > Superseded (CPE)
ePrint ID: 42910
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2006
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:15

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