Today, people are living longer
and healthier lives than ever
before. In contrast to the
diseases that were prevalent in
the early 1900’s, the most
common causes of death and
illness today are related to the
behaviors in which a person
chooses to engage.
• Unhealthy behaviors, from
smoking and poor diet, to
sedentary lifestyle and poor
coping skills, are all major
contributors to illness.
• Fortunately, we can learn ways
to control the behaviors in
which we choose to engage.
• We can also learn to change
negative thinking patterns that
can lead us to engage in
unhealthy behaviors. By
learning specific skills, we can
make positive, healthy changes
in our lives.
Health psychology is the aggregate of
the specific educational, scientific and
professional contributions of the
discipline of psychology to the
promotion and maintenance of health,
the prevention and treatment of
illness, the identification of etiologic
and diagnostic correlates of health,
illness and related dysfunction and the
analysis and improvement of the
health care system and health policy
No Life event Stress value
1 Death of spouse 100
2 Divorce 73
3 Marital separation 65
4 Jail term 63
5 Death of a close family member 63
6 Personal injury or illness 53
7 Marriage 50
8 Fired at work 47
9 Marital reconciliation 45
10 Retirement 45
11 Change in health of family member 44
12 Pregnancy 40
13 Sex difficulties 39
14 Gain of new family member 39
15 Business readjustment 39
16 Change in financial state 38
No Life event Stress value
17 Death of a close friend 37
18 Change to a different line of work 36
19 Change in number of arguments with spouse 35
20 Large mortgage repayments 31
21 Foreclosure of mortgage or loan 30
22 Change in responsibilities at work 29
23 Son or daughter leaving home 29
24 Trouble with in-laws 29
25 Outstanding personal achievement 28
26 Wife begins or stops work 26
27 Begin or end school 26
28 Change in living conditions 25
29 Revision of personal habits 24
30 Trouble with boss 23
31 Change in work hours or conditions 20
32 Change in residence 20
33 Change in school 19
Less than 150 (0%).
Death of spouse (100)+ Jail
term (63)+ Personal injury or
illness(53)+Fired at work
(47)+ Death of a close
friend(37) = (300).
No Life event Stress value
9 Death of spouse 20
1 Death of your mother 36
1 Death of your father 36
3 Death of a close family member 33
4 Death of a close friend 32
10 Personal injury or illness 14
11 Trouble with police 4
7 Jail term 27
5 Large mortgage repayments 30
8 Fire at home 26
6 Change in health of family member 29
11 Change in residence 4
2 Sex difficulties 34
2 Failure in faculty 34
12 Trouble with boss 1
7 financial difficulties 27
What is Pain?
Pain is defined as an
unpleasant sensory and
emotional experience associated
with actual or potential tissue
damage, or described in terms
of such damage.
Pain can be classified as either
“acute” or “chronic”.
Acute pain is the most common
reason why patients seek
Acute pain usually has a sudden
onset and is associated with
tissue damage or painful stimuli
(e.g., headache, skinned knee,
muscle aches, labor pain).
Acute pain is often adaptive
because it alerts us to the
presence and location of tissue
injury and corrects behavior
that may be causing or
contributing to it.
It also reminds us when an
injured body part, such as a
back or knee, needs time to
Chronic pain, on the other
hand, refers to the
continuation of pain for greater
than three months despite
treatment and coping efforts
by the individual.
It has no protective role and is
not necessarily associated with
tissue damage as viewed from
imaging techniques such as
MRI or X-ray.
Chronic pain can impact all
areas of a person’s life and is
often associated with functional,
psychological and social
In addition, chronic pain can
have a significant impact on a
person’s family and friends.
Types of Pain:
There are two basic types of pain;
nociceptive pain and
1. Nociceptive Pain - can be
divided into two separate
Somatic Pain: Somatic pain is caused
by the activation of pain receptors in
either the cutaneous tissues (body
surface) or deep tissues
When it occurs in the musculoskeletal
tissues, it is called deep somatic pain.
Deep somatic pain is usually described
as dull or aching but localized. Surface
somatic pain is usually sharper and
may have a burning or pricking
quality. Common causes include post-
surgical pain or pain related to a
Visceral Pain: "Viscera" refers to the
internal areas of the body that are
enclosed within a cavity.
Visceral pain is caused by activation
of pain receptors resulting from
infiltration, compression, extension,
or stretching of the chest, abdominal,
or pelvic viscera. Visceral pain is not
well localized and is usually
described as pressure-like, deep
squeezing. Examples of visceral pain
include pain related to cancer, bone
fracture, or bone cancer.
2. Neuropathic Pain - Neuropathic pain is
a neurological disorder resulting from
damage to nerves that carry
information about pain.
Neuropathic pain is reported to feel
different from somatic or visceral pain
and is often described as “shooting”,
“electric”, “stabbing”, or “burning”.
It may be felt traveling along a nerve
path from the spine into the arms and
hands or into the buttocks, legs, or
Treatment of Chronic Pain:
Research consistently indicates that a
multidisciplinary treatment approach is
the most effective way to address the
complex problem of chronic pain.
Multidisciplinary treatment teams are
generally composed of 2 or more
treatment disciplines (e.g., psychology,
anesthesiology, neurology, or physical
each with expertise in the
assessment and treatment of
chronic pain. Members of the team
work together in a coordinated
manner to provide the best
treatment for a patient’s pain.
Psychological factors such as mood,
beliefs about pain and coping style
have been found to play an
important role in an individual’s
adjustment to chronic pain.
For example, when pain persists over
time, a person may avoid doing regular
activities for fear of further injury or
increased pain. This can include work,
social activities, or hobbies. As the
individual withdraws and becomes less
active, their muscles may become
weaker, they may begin to gain or lose
weight, and their overall physical
conditioning may decline. This can
contribute to the belief that one is
One particular psychological
treatment approach that has been
found to be highly effective in helping
patients to reduce pain, disability and
distress is Cognitive Behavioral
CBT for chronic pain management
involves modifying negative thoughts
related to pain (e.g., this pain is going
to kill me, I’m worthless because of
the pain, I can’t cope with this pain)
and on increasing a person’s activity
level and productive functioning.
This approach for pain management
has been shown to be highly
effective in promoting positive
cognitive and behavioral changes in
individuals with chronic pain.
Treatment can be delivered
individually or in a group setting.
CBT for pain management is tailored
to the individual needs of the patient
but may include:
Stress and Anger
Words (30-35% of
conversation carried by
Tone of voice.
Eye contact (read the eye
contact between couple in
a restaurant, another
example it is hard to look
someone straight in the eye
Rate of speaking.
Duration and pauses.
bodily contact (touching).
(conducting a conversation
posture, gestures and nods
(the way people stand, sit
Vocal and nonvocal.
Verbal and nonverbal.
sadness, surprise, fear,
anger, and disgust).
Appearance (the clothes
one chooses to waer).
• voice quality (soft, sadness, affection,
moderate, pleasantness, happiness, loud,
dominance, confidence. While the negative tones
indicate the following; sharp voice, complaining,
helpless, flat voice, sickly, depressed, breathy
voice, anxious and thin voice ).
Tone Everyday speech
Eye contact Morse code
nonvocal Proximity Sign language
In addition to this lecture,
please read the Book of
Psychology, David Myers