[PDF] Nonspecific Treatment Effects in Pain Medicine

International Association for the Study of Pain
International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP)
Publication date:
01 January 2011


Specialty training in pain medicine, particularly in western societies, is seen as a technical field that requires the mastery of many interventions such as pain-relieving medications, injections, and implantable devices. The literature suggests, however, that the reason someone with chronic pain gets better has as much to do with the nonspecific effects of treatment—such as the personality of the patient and the interpersonal relationship that person has with the pain clinician—as with the treatment itself. This issue of Pain: Clinical Updates presents a limited review of the literature about the role ofnonspecific effects of treatment and discusses some suggestions for future training in pain medicine.