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Dr Biltery's new chapter

Dr. Thomas Bilterys, who started his Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions – COFUND EUTOPIA Science and Innovation Fellowship with us in October, has just published a chapter in Advances in the Psychobiology of Sleep and Circadian Rhythms, edited by Melinda Jackson and Sean Drummond. Do check it out: Link opens in a new window


More about the chapter:

Chronic pain is one of the most common yet debilitating conditions. One of the most reported complaints by people with chronic pain is sleep problems. While sleep disturbances were initially seen as a consequence of pain, recent research advances have made it clear that sleep plays a significant role in the onset and persistence of pain. Despite the high prevalence and the close link between pain and sleep problems, there is currently no established treatment approach, nor a consensus to treat sleep problems in chronic pain as a priority. Greater understanding of the sleep-pain relationship and its underlying mechanisms is fundamental to the development, adaptation and optimisation of chronic pain and insomnia management strategies. In this chapter, the intricate bidirectional relationship between sleep and pain will be described. Moreover, an overview of the most researched potential mechanisms explaining the sleep-pain relationship will be presented. Lastly, current treatment approaches and directions for future research avenues will be discussed.

More about Thomas:

Thomas completed his PhD in health science from Ghent University and Rehabilitation Sciences from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in 2022. After his PhD, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the Pain in Motion Research Group at Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Sleep Disorders and Research Center at Henry Ford Health. His research mainly aims to increase insight into the interaction between sleep and pain and to improve the treatment of insomnia and chronic pain. His current research focuses on insomnia in people with chronic pain and possible treatment adaptations which consider the sleep-pain relationship to further enhance  treatment.

Thu 07 Dec 2023, 23:31 | Tags: paper, chronic pain, sleep, people

New JCM paper on Pain Management

The Management of Chronic Pain: Re-Centring Person-Centred Care

J. Clin. Med. 2023, 12(22), 6957;

The drive for a more person-centred approach in the broader field of clinical medicine is also gaining traction in chronic pain treatment. Despite current advances, a further departure from ‘business as usual’ is required to ensure that the care offered or received is not only effective but also considers personal values, goals, abilities, and day-to-day realities. Existing work typically focuses on explaining pain symptoms and the development of standardised interventions, at the risk of overlooking the broader consequences of pain in individuals’ lives and individual differences in pain responses. This review underscores the importance of considering additional factors, such as the influence of chronic pain on an individual’s sense of self. It explores innovative approaches to chronic pain management that have the potential to optimise effectiveness and offer person-centred care. Furthermore, it delves into research applying hybrid and individual formulations, along with self-monitoring technologies, to enhance pain assessment and the tailoring of management strategies. In conclusion, this review advocates for chronic pain management approaches that align with an individual’s priorities and realities while fostering their active involvement in self-monitoring and self-management.

Tue 07 Nov 2023, 15:11 | Tags: paper, chronic pain, WITHIN

Mental defeat predicts suicide risk

Check out our new paper published in the Journal of PainLink opens in a new window on mental defeat and suicidality. This is our first publication based on data collected for the WITHIN study. We thank our staff and research participants for their invaluable contribution!

Results from this prospective cohort study suggest that mental defeat is a significant predictor of increased suicide risk among patients with chronic pain, along with depression, perceived stress, head pain, and active smoking status. These findings offer a novel avenue for assessment and preventative intervention before risk escalates.

Mon 31 Jul 2023, 17:56 | Tags: suicidality, paper, chronic pain, WITHIN

New paper on cognitive factors in insomnia

Check out our new paperLink opens in a new window to be published in the Journal of Sleep Research's Insomnia Special Issue. It's an accesible primer to cognitive models of insomnia published since 1980.

Tang, N. K. Y., Saconi, B., Jansson-Fröjmark, M., Ong, J. C., & Carney, C. E. (2023). Cognitive factors and processes in models of insomnia: A systematic reviewLink opens in a new window. Journal of Sleep Research, e13923.
Wed 26 Jul 2023, 12:46 | Tags: paper, sleep

Our JAMA paper on opioid reduction is out!

Wed 24 May 2023, 09:39 | Tags: paper, chronic pain

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