The undertreatment of pain: Scientific, clinical, cultural, and philosophical factors

This essay provides an explanation and interpretation of the undertreatment of pain by discussing some of the scientific, clinical, cultural, and philosophical aspects of this problem. One reason why pain continues to be a problem for medicine is that pain does not conform to the scientific approach to health and disease, a philosophy adopted by most health care professionals. Pain does not fit this philosophical perspective because (1) pain is subjective, not objective; (2) the causal basis of pain is often poorly understood; (3) pain is often regarded as a mere symptom, not as a disease; (4) there often are no magic bullets for pain; (5) pain does not fit the expert knowledge model. In order for health care professionals to do a better job of treating pain, some changes need to occur in medical philosophy, education, and practice
Keywords cultural aspects  medicine  pain  philosophy  science  undertreatment
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1023/A:1012057403159
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Stan van Hooft (2003). Pain and Communication. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 6 (3):255-262.
Daniel S. Goldberg (2010). Job and the Stigmatization of Chronic Pain. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 53 (3):425-438.
Terry Dartnall (2001). The Pain Problem. Philosophical Psychology 14 (1):95-102.
Nico H. Frijda (2002). What is Pain Facial Expression For? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (4):460-460.
Murat Aydede (2009). Pain, Philosophical Aspects Of. In Tim Bayne, Axel Cleeremans & Patrick Wilken (eds.), Oxford Companion to Consciousness. 495-498.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

24 ( #124,740 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #369,877 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.