Psychological aspects of neuropathic pain

Jennifer A. Haythornthwaite, Lisa M. Benrud-Larson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

163 Scopus citations


Studies on the psychosocial impact of neuropathic pain conditions, including postherpetic neuralgia, diabetic neuropathy, complex regional pain syndrome, post spinal cord injury, postamputation, and AIDS-related neuropathy, are reviewed. Although limited, data are consistent with the larger literature on chronic pain and indicate that neuropathic pain reduces quality of life, including mood and physical and social functioning. Depression and pain coping strategies such as catastrophizing and social support predict pain severity, and a single diary study demonstrates a prospective relation between depressed mood and increased pain. Clinical trials of psychological interventions have not been reported, although some case series of successful treatment of neuropathic pain are reported, primarily in the area of biofeedback. Given the evidence indicating the broad impact of neuropathic pain on many areas of function, it is surprising that so few studies have investigated the impact of psychological interventions in these populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S101-S105
JournalClinical Journal of Pain
Issue number2 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Jun 2000


  • Behavior therapy
  • Chronic pain
  • Cognitive-behavior therapy
  • Depression
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Physical function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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