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Publication Detail
Encountering Pain: Hearing, seeing, speaking
What is persistent pain? How do we communicate pain, not only in words but in visual images and gesture? How do we respond to the pain of another, and can we do it better? Can explaining how pain works help us handle it? This unique compilation of voices addresses these and bigger questions. Defined as having lasted over three months, persistent pain changes the brain and nervous system so pain no longer warns of danger: it seems to be a fault in the system. It is a major cause of disability globally, but it remains difficult to communicate, a problem both to those with pain and those who try to help. Language struggles to bridge the gap, and it raises ethical challenges in its management unlike those of other common conditions. Encountering Pain shares leading research into the potential value of visual images and non-verbal forms of communication as means of improving clinician–patient interaction. It is divided into four sections: hearing, seeing, speaking, and a final series of contributions on the future for persistent pain. The chapters are accompanied by vivid photographs co-created with those who live with pain. The volume integrates the voices of leading scientists, academics and contemporary artists with poetry and poignant personal testimonies to provide a manual for understanding the meanings of pain, for healthcare professionals, pain patients, students, academics and artists. The voices and experiences of those living with pain are central, providing tools for discussion and future research, shifting register between creative, academic and personal contributions from diverse cultures and weaving them together to offer new understanding, knowledge and hope.
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