What is mental defeat and does it have an impact on the experiences of those living with pain?
In this edition of Airing Pain, Paul Evans interviews the team at the Warwick Study of Mental Defeat in Chronic Pain (WITHIN Project) and research participants, as well as taking part in the study as a participant himself.
The study, which runs until May 2023, is investigating how mental defeat can influence pain sensation, sleep patterns, social activity, physical activity and the general health of individuals who have chronic pain.
Mental defeat is defined as the perceived loss of autonomy in the face of uncontrollable, traumatic events. In the context of chronic pain this can be explained as a loss of identity and self in relation to repeated episodes of pain.
Paul talks to the team about their experimental, lab-based study and the sleep-tracking survey, then undergoes the lab experiment himself. Afterwards, he discusses how he found it and the possible outcomes of the research. He also interviews other participants on their experience.
Research into mental defeat is in its early stages. It is hoped that the WITHIN Project will generate important information to help us further understand the influence that mental defeat has on distress and disability in chronic pain patients. This is essential listening for anyone wanting to know more about the research process, or wanting to participate.
Issues covered in this programme include:
Mental defeat, pain research, insomnia, psychological effects of pain, chronic pain, patient perspective, acceptance and commitment therapy, research participation, pain thresholds.
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