Chronic Pain: Biomedical and Spiritual Approaches

Harold G. Koenig, M.D. (Haworth Press, 2003)

Chronic physical pain is the main reason why 40% of the United States population seeks alternative or complementary medical treatments, spending $27-30 billion each year out-of-pocket. The subject received national attention in December 2000 because of a mandate by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) that required all healthcare institutions — hospitals and nursing homes — to treat pain using state-of-the-art methods or lose accreditation. Not only must health care professionals have training in the management of chronic pain, but also religious professionals need information in this area. Chronic pain has given rise to many questions about God and what physical pain and suffering really means. Chaplains deal with this all the time. Community clergy must also deal with this issue because their membership is growing older and often suffer from chronic health problems that cause pain. This is the first book that comprehensively addresses the topic of chronic pain from medical, psychological, surgical, and spiritual viewpoints. It is written in an easy to read format that health professionals, religious professionals, patients and family members will all find useful.