Laboratory Studies

Our current research focuses on exploring the potential analgesic action of various behavioral interventions designed to decrease pain. If our research shows that behavioral interventions such as distraction and positive imagery are effective in decreasing pain, then physicians will be more likely to incorporate these interventions into their treatment plans.

Studies of behavioral interventions such as imagery have found that more vivid images tend to produce a greater tolerance for laboratory-induced tonic pain. Furthermore, images designed to improve the subject's mood tend to produce a greater reduction in tonic pain than neutral images or relaxation. However, it is unclear how behavioral interventions can work in combination with medications to deliver effective pain relief. Learning more about the interactions between behavioral and pharmacological treatments should help to assure that behavioral pain control techniques are used to their maximum advantage in patients requiring morphine for pain control.

For information on specific studies, refer to Clinical Trials and Neuroimaging Studies.

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