Chapter 1Introduction to Comorbid Mental Health and Chronic Pain

The prevalence and cost of chronic pain is a growing concern in the United States. During the past decade, increasing research focus on exploring treatment for chronic pain has led to important implications for current coordination of medical and psychological management to treat individuals suffering with chronic pain. There are relatively few research articles that are not diagnosis- or syndrome-specific, with even fewer random clinical trials (RCTs) or meta-analytic studies. In their research, Elliott and colleagues (1999) have indicated that at least 45 percent of Americans will seek treatment or care for chronic pain at some point in their lives, making a total of over 50 million people in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2005, 133 million Americans were experiencing chronic illness, equivalent to almost 1 out of every 2 adults. Nearly a quarter of people with chronic conditions also reported experiencing limitations to daily activity due to their illness, and also experienced clinical mental health concerns. Currently, children suffering from chronic illnesses that were considered fatal in the past now live well into adulthood, thanks to advances in medical care. While these advances are promising, they can result in prolonged lifespans and chronic pain (Martinez, 2009). In response to such findings, in 2010 the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare ...

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