Although prior research has not unequivocally specified a connection, there is theoretical and empirical evidence suggesting that emotional reactions influence the intensity of pain, both in disease and non-disease-related conditions. Some studies suggest that treatments directed at negative emotional responses reduce the suffering associated with pain. These findings are limited, but support the idea that negative emotions play an important role in chronic pain for distressed patients. This approach of treating negative emotions needs to be evaluated in a variety of different clinical settings, but does serve as a reminder of the complexities involved with the treatment of chronic pain.
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