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Airing Pain 67: Biopsychosocial and spiritual?

The place of faith in pain relief, plus phys­io­ther­a­py meets men­tal health, and edu­cat­ing doctors

This edi­tion is fund­ed by a dona­tion from the res­i­dents at Fal­con House, Edinburgh.

It’s well estab­lished that pain needs to be under­stood and treat­ed as a biopsy­choso­cial prob­lem, but what about the spir­i­tu­al side of life? Pro­fes­sor of nurs­ing and Angli­can chap­lain Michelle Brig­gs speak to Paul Evans about how some peo­ple in pain can find relief and mean­ing in the prayer and com­mu­ni­ty engage­ment offered by their faith.

We’ve looked at the issue of pain edu­ca­tion before – Emma Brig­gs gives an update on the strug­gle to increase pain train­ing for doc­tors and improve its qual­i­ty. Her inter­dis­ci­pli­nary pain man­age­ment course brings health­care pro­fes­sion­als togeth­er with a focus on empa­thy, work­ing as a team and under­stand­ing the impor­tance of drug and non-drug treatments.

Phys­io­ther­a­py and men­tal health care might seem at oppo­site ends of the pain man­age­ment spec­trum, but phys­io­ther­a­pist Nathan Goss sets out why we have to see pain as a mind-body prob­lem and argues that men­tal health dif­fi­cul­ties are ‘some­thing we all experience’.

Issues cov­ered in this pro­gramme include: Mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary approach, the biopsy­choso­cial mod­el, men­tal health, edu­cat­ing health pro­fes­sion­als, reli­gion, faith, phys­io­ther­a­py, research, psy­chol­o­gy, com­mu­ni­cat­ing pain and empathy.


  • Michelle Brig­gs, Pro­fes­sor of Nurs­ing, Leeds Met­ro­pol­i­tan Uni­ver­si­ty and Angli­can chaplain
  • Emma Brig­gs, Lec­tur­er, King’s Col­lege Lon­don and Chair of the British Pain Soci­ety Pain Edu­ca­tion Spe­cial Inter­est Group
  • Nathan Goss, Senior Phys­io­ther­a­pist, Pain Man­age­ment Pro­gramme at the Wal­ton Cen­tre, Liverpool.