Two brief interventions for acute pain

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Abstract

This study evaluated two brief (3–5 min) interventions for controlling responses to acute pain. Eighty male subjects were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 intervention groups (Positive Emotion Induction (PEI) or Brief Relaxation (BR)) or to 1 of 2 control groups (No-instruction or Social Demand). The PEI focused on re-creating a pleasant memory, while the BR procedure involved decreasing respiration rate and positioning the body in a relaxed posture. All subjects underwent a 60-sec finger pressure pain trial. Analyses indicated that the PEI subjects reported lower ratings of pain, fear, and anxiety, and experienced greater finger temperature recovery than controls. The BR procedure resulted in greater blood pressure recovery, but did not alter ratings of pain or emotion relative to controls. Further research is needed to explore the clinical use of the PEI for acute pain management.

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