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date: 16 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Fear of pain is a construct that denotes both pain-related fear and pain-related anxiety. The construct and associated fear-anxiety-avoidance models have stimulated considerable research and the development of an effective treatment known as graded exposure in vivo. This chapter has several purposes. After providing a theoretical overview, descriptive and diagnostic issues pertinent to fear of pain are described. Several conceptual controversies are also discussed, including the differential role of fear and anxiety in pain-related avoidance, and whether fear of pain is best conceptualized as a simple phobia or a fundamental predilection to be fearful of anxiety symptoms. Assessment and treatment options for elevated fear of pain are described in detail and with reference to relevant empirical literature. The chapter concludes with suggested avenues for future research.

Keywords: anxiety, assessment, fear, in vivo exposure, kinesiophobia, pain, treatment

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