Perceived control, how it impacts pain and what does this mean for recreational therapists?​

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Vicki I Di Giovanni


The American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA; 2007) estimates that one in three Americans (approximately 50 million people) suffer from some type of chronic pain, and that it is the number one cause of adult disability in the United States. One can ascertain that having control over pain will improve the overall health and well-being of a person with chronic pain. Objective: To complete an integrative review of the literature on perceived control in people with chronic pain with a focus on how perceived control influences pain perception and intensity and coping skills. Method: Literature was accessed using a university’s aggregate database tool that searches multiple research databases at once. Conclusions: The literature supports the claim that if a person has a high level of perceived control, then their pain intensity and frequency is less. 

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Author Biography

Vicki I Di Giovanni, Indiana University - Bloomington

I am currently a graduate student in the School of Public Health at Indiana University. I am pursuing my masters in therapeutic recreation. I have over 14 years experience as a clinician and a manager in the long term care field.