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Operant learning theory in pain and chronic pain rehabilitation

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Abstract
The application of operant learning theory on chronic pain by Fordyce has had a huge impact on chronic pain research and management. The operant model focuses on pain behaviors as a major component of the pain problem, and postulates that they are subject to environmental contingencies. The role of operant learning in pain behaviors generally has been supported by experimental studies, which are reviewed in the present article. Subsequently, the rationale, goals, and methods of operant behavioral treatment of chronic pain are outlined. Special attention is paid to three therapeutic techniques (graded activity, activity pacing, and time-contingent medication management), which are discussed in detail with regard to their operationalization, effectiveness, and (possible) mechanisms of action. Criticisms of the operant model are presented, as are suggestions for the optimization of (operant) behavioral treatment efficacy.
Keywords
COGNITIVE-BEHAVIORAL TREATMENT, LOW-BACK-PAIN, RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED-TRIAL, CHRONIC-FATIGUE-SYNDROME, GRADED ACTIVITY, FIBROMYALGIA SYNDROME, FEAR-AVOIDANCE, MUSCULOSKELETAL PAIN, COMMITMENT THERAPY, MUSCULAR RESPONSES, Operant learning, Operant conditioning, Chronic pain, Operant behavioral treatment, BT, Pain management, Pain intervention

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Citation

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Chicago
Gatzounis, Rena, Martien GS Schrooten, Geert Crombez, and Johan WS Vlaeyen. 2012. “Operant Learning Theory in Pain and Chronic Pain Rehabilitation.” Current Pain and Headache Reports 16 (2): 117–126.
APA
Gatzounis, Rena, Schrooten, M. G., Crombez, G., & Vlaeyen, J. W. (2012). Operant learning theory in pain and chronic pain rehabilitation. CURRENT PAIN AND HEADACHE REPORTS, 16(2), 117–126.
Vancouver
1.
Gatzounis R, Schrooten MG, Crombez G, Vlaeyen JW. Operant learning theory in pain and chronic pain rehabilitation. CURRENT PAIN AND HEADACHE REPORTS. 2012;16(2):117–26.
MLA
Gatzounis, Rena, Martien GS Schrooten, Geert Crombez, et al. “Operant Learning Theory in Pain and Chronic Pain Rehabilitation.” CURRENT PAIN AND HEADACHE REPORTS 16.2 (2012): 117–126. Print.
@article{2098101,
  abstract     = {The application of operant learning theory on chronic pain by Fordyce has had a huge impact on chronic pain research and management. The operant model focuses on pain behaviors as a major component of the pain problem, and postulates that they are subject to environmental contingencies. The role of operant learning in pain behaviors generally has been supported by experimental studies, which are reviewed in the present article. Subsequently, the rationale, goals, and methods of operant behavioral treatment of chronic pain are outlined. Special attention is paid to three therapeutic techniques (graded activity, activity pacing, and time-contingent medication management), which are discussed in detail with regard to their operationalization, effectiveness, and (possible) mechanisms of action. Criticisms of the operant model are presented, as are suggestions for the optimization of (operant) behavioral treatment efficacy.},
  author       = {Gatzounis, Rena and Schrooten, Martien GS and Crombez, Geert and Vlaeyen, Johan WS},
  issn         = {1531-3433},
  journal      = {CURRENT PAIN AND HEADACHE REPORTS},
  keyword      = {COGNITIVE-BEHAVIORAL TREATMENT,LOW-BACK-PAIN,RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED-TRIAL,CHRONIC-FATIGUE-SYNDROME,GRADED ACTIVITY,FIBROMYALGIA SYNDROME,FEAR-AVOIDANCE,MUSCULOSKELETAL PAIN,COMMITMENT THERAPY,MUSCULAR RESPONSES,Operant learning,Operant conditioning,Chronic pain,Operant behavioral treatment,BT,Pain management,Pain intervention},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {117--126},
  title        = {Operant learning theory in pain and chronic pain rehabilitation},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11916-012-0247-1},
  volume       = {16},
  year         = {2012},
}

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