The role of resilience in the clinical management of chronic pain

Afton L. Hassett, Patrick H. Finan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Chronic pain affects more individuals than does cancer, heart disease, and diabetes combined. Yet, our treatment options remain remarkably limited. Often, highly effective psychotherapeutic approaches are limited by many barriers such as access, reimbursement, and acceptability; however, resilience-based positive activity interventions could offer a promising alternative. These interventions are engaging, non-stigmatizing, and do not require a mental health professional for their provision. This article reviews the new, but limited, research exploring the use of positive activity interventions for the treatment of patients with chronic pain. The related psychological and biological mechanisms are addressed, as are suggestions for more systematically evaluating the potential for positive activity interventions to become an adjunct to or stand-alone intervention strategy for patients with chronic pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number39
JournalCurrent pain and headache reports
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2016


  • Chronic pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Inflammation
  • Positive affect
  • Positiveactivity interventions
  • Resilience
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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