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Pain (Introducing Health Science) [Paperback]

Frederick Toates
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

13 Sep 2007 0199237360 978-0199237364 1
Pain is a paradoxical phenomenon - aiding human survival by warning us to retreat from damaging stimuli and rest while injuries heal, and yet causing immense human suffering when it becomes intractable. This is one of many puzzling features of pain examined in this book. What common properties are shared by pains triggered by noxious stimuli such as cuts and those triggered by social rejection, or empathy with the pain of another? How can a placebo, an inert substance which someone believes is an analgesic, reduce the pain of a migraine or a sprained ankle?

The central argument of Pain is that only an integrated understanding of biology and psychology can explain the roots of pain in the nervous system and the relationship with mental events in modifying the experience of pain. Interactive animations on the accompanying DVD illustrate how tissue damage initiates signals in the nervous system, which the brain perceives as pain at the site of the injury. Videotaped interviews with people suffering from chronic pain and with health professionals working in pain clinics illuminate the underlying theories of pain and its treatment in the context of personal accounts. A discussion of the 'gate theory' of pain provides a scientific rationale for the efficacy of placebos and cognitive therapies in treating the pain of a physical stimulus. This leads to an explanation for the exacerbation of pain when people make catastrophic interpretations of their situation and its alleviation by techniques such as visualisation. The book concludes with an explanation of the 'placebo effect' and a discussion of different methods of treating pain, including surgical and chemical interventions and psychological techniques, illustrated by videos and animations on the DVD.

The Online Resource Centre features:

For lecturers who are registered adopters of the book:
- Figures from the book in electronic format, available to download

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Access to ROUTES, a searchable internet database of online resources compiled by academic staff and subject-specialist librarians.

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Pain (Introducing Health Science) + Users and Abusers of Psychiatry: A Critical Look at Psychiatric Practice
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Product details

  • Paperback: 104 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; 1 edition (13 Sep 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199237360
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199237364
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 0.9 x 26.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 171,380 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


This accessible book introduces the reader to types of pain, how the nervous system processes pain and how psychological factors affect pain, such as a persons expectations or sense of control. It also discusses biological treatments (e.g. aspirin, morphine) and psychological interventions (e.g. cognitive-behavioural therapy). The book includes useful features to support learning, such as self-assessment questions and a DVD with animations and videos. (The Psychologist)

About the Author

Frederick Toates is Professor of Biological Psychology at the Open University, having previously held teaching positions at both the University of Odense, Denmark, and the University of Central Lancashire. In addition to publishing widely in peer-reviewed journals, Fred has contributed materials to several Open University course texts. He is also author of the textbook

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting 29 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent course material for those interested in Psychology or health and social care studies. Helped me with research for a university course.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good overview 16 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I found this to be a really good overview of pain. It is broad in scope, easy to read and very interesting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great condition 24 May 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book was described exactly as it was. I found the information in it helped me greatly in my Open University course
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