Cognitive impairment in chronic pain. (Horizons).
Article Type: Brief Article
Subject: Intractable pain (Analysis)
Cognitive therapy (Analysis)
Pain (Care and treatment)
Pub Date: 12/01/2001
Publication: Name: Journal of Neuroscience Nursing Publisher: American Association of Neuroscience Nurses Audience: Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health care industry Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2001 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses ISSN: 0888-0395
Issue: Date: Dec, 2001 Source Volume: 33 Source Issue: 6
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 82007683
Full Text: As nurses working in pain clinics are probably all too aware, chronic pain affects the entire person. A recent study has documented that chronic pain patients frequently demonstrate cognitive complaints, which influence their overall ability to manage their pain.

In a study of 275 patients treated at a university pain management center, more than half (54%) reported at least one cognitive complaint. Complaints included forgetfulness, difficulties in completing tasks, attention problems, impaired response time and problem solving, and disorientation, among others. Greater cognitive dysfunction was related to greater emotional distress and greater pain burden. Authors of this study suggest that patients with chronic pain require cognitive assessment as part of their overall assessment. Further, therapy to improve cognitive complaints may be helpful as part of the overall approach to pain management and clearly requires additional study.


McCracken, L.M., & Iverson, G.L. (2001). Predicting complaints of impaired cognitive functioning in patients with chronic pain. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 21, 302-396.
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.