Friday, 28 February 2014

Visiting speaker: James Elander, University of Derby

Date: Thursday March 6, 4:00pm

Location: VG02

Title: What is pain acceptance, and how does it change? A longitudinal analysis of the roles played by motivation and behaviour in pain acceptance changes.

Pain acceptance is a complex construct derived from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and is consistently associated with improved outcomes among people with chronic pain. However, pain acceptance includes both motivational and behavioural aspects, and change processes in acceptance are not well understood. In this talk, James Elander presents evidence from a 12-month longitudinal study of people with chronic haemophilia-related joint pain who received a low-intensity pain self-management intervention. The data were used to test hypotheses about whether changes in pain acceptance occur in sequences that resemble motivational or behavioural changes. A series of cross-lagged regression analyses showed that changes in pain acceptance were influenced by prior changes in readiness (motivation) to self-manage pain, suggesting that changes in pain acceptance are primarily behavioural, but that changes in behavioural aspects of acceptance preceded and influenced changes in motivational aspects of acceptance. These insights about sequential change processes help us to understand better the nature of pain acceptance, and can inform the design and delivery of acceptance-based interventions to improve pain self-management.

James Elander is Professor of Health Psychology and Head of the Centre for Psychological Research at the University of Derby. He is a HPC-registered psychologist and an HEA National Teaching Fellow. He obtained his BSc Psychology (1991) and PhD (1994) at Royal Holloway College, University of London. Since then he has worked at London Metropolitan University and the University of West London. His research interests include behavioural and psychological aspects of pain management and analgesic use in painful chronic conditions such as haemophilia, sickle cell disease, and chronic headache. This includes developing and evaluating interventions to improve people's self-management of pain, and studies of the interpersonal staff-patient dynamics that affect quality of pain management, especially in hospital. He has a particular current interest in the development of pain self-management interventions based on concepts related to pain acceptance.

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