The politics of pain

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(3), 265. Reviews the book, The politics of pain by Helen Neal (1978). The traditional conception of clinical pain is that it is a symptom of and is secondary to a disease process or an injury, and that it is best managed by addressing the primary cause. In this book, that viewpoint is challenged as being too simpleminded and inadequate in that it often fails to deal with the problem that the patient presents to the physician. Much of the book is devoted to discussions of the inadequate way that complaints of pain are dealt with by medical practitioners. The author is an admitted crusader and uses this book as a vehicle to champion a uniform, national program of pain research, training, and treatment. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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