Behavioral Analysis of Chronic Pain

  • Wilbert E. Fordyce
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 19)


Chronic pain has long been one of the most prevalent, costly, and puzzling problems to health care delivery. In 1967–68, a case study was reported (Fordyce, Fowler & deLateur, 1968) in which chronic pain was treated as a behavior change rather than medical problem. In the ensuing years, this idea has proliferated to the point where nearly all of the comprehensive pain evaluation and treatment programs in the United States and Canada, as well as a number of other countries, base their procedures in significant part on behavioral concepts and behavioral methods. Because the problem of chronic pain is so prevalent, evaluation and management by behavioral methods and analysis of the problem in the framework of behavioral science is somewhat prototypic of the role of behavioral science in health care delivery. This paper will describe a conceptual and empirical foundation for viewing chronic pain in behavioral terms and will describe some implications for evaluation and treatment.


Chronic Pain Pain Behavior Behavioral Analysis Chronic Pain Patient Nociceptive Stimulus 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wilbert E. Fordyce
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Rehabilitation Medicine & Pain ServiceUniversity HospitalSeattleUSA

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