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Positive Affect and Activities in the Treatment of Persistent Pain

presented by Carolyn McManus, PT, MPT, MA

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Carolyn McManus provides individual and small group mentoring. She offers continuing education programming and produces online guided relaxation and meditation products. She receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Nonfinancial: Carolyn McManus has no competing nonfinancial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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Video Runtime: 41 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 24 Minutes

Considerable research has historically addressed the impact of negative cognitions and emotions on the persistent pain experience. The adverse roles of catastrophic thinking, fear, anxiety, and depression, as well as the interventions directed at reducing these negative factors, have been extensively examined. More recently, pioneering research is examining the role of positive affect and positive activity interventions on the experience of persistent pain. Evidence is accumulating that documents how positive activity treatment strategies reduce pain, increase positive affect, and promote well-being in individuals with persistent pain. This course introduces current research and positive activity treatment strategies to promote positive affect, reduce pain, and improve quality of life in patients with persistent pain. Combining lecture and an experiential exercise, this introductory course is applicable to healthcare professionals working in both inpatient and outpatient settings that serve patients with persistent pain conditions. Clinicians who wish to expand their toolbox of treatment strategies to offer this often complex and challenging patient population will benefit.

Meet Your Instructor

Carolyn McManus, PT, MPT, MA

Carolyn McManus is a highly skilled clinician, researcher, and professional trainer and is a national leader in the integration of mindfulness into healthcare. She is the past president of the APTA Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Pain Special Interest Group. She holds master's degrees in physical therapy and in psychology. Since 1985, she has integrated…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Positive Activities, Affect, and Pain: Definitions and Proposed Mechanisms

This chapter introduces the topic of positive activities and affect in the treatment of persistent pain. Positive affect is defined, and its impact on persistent pain is highlighted. Possible biological and psychological mechanisms that explain how positive affect may impact the experience of pain are presented.

2. Positive Activity Intervention Research

This chapter introduces research that identifies beneficial effects of positive activity interventions in the treatment of persistent pain. A range of studies are examined, including interventions for musculoskeletal pain and pain associated with spinal cord injuries. Research exploring specific positive activity tasks, compassion training, humor and laughter training, volunteering, and mindfulness-oriented recovery are reviewed.

3. Guided Imagery and Practice

This chapter introduces guided imagery as a positive activity intervention for the treatment of persistent pain. Guided imagery is defined, its benefits are presented, and six steps to lead a guided imagery exercise are identified. An experience of guided imagery is led by the instructor.

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