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Pain Research and Treatment
Volume 2013, Article ID 174728, 10 pages
Review Article

Conceptualizing and Treating Comorbid Chronic Pain and PTSD

James A. Haley Veterans Affairs Hospital, University of South Florida, 13000 Bruce B. Downs Boulevard (116B), Tampa, FL 33612, USA

Received 30 March 2013; Accepted 9 May 2013

Academic Editor: Hartmut Göbel

Copyright © 2013 Michelle A. Bosco et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The purpose of this paper is to review the rationale for concurrent, evidence-based treatment of chronic pain and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). To meet this end, we review pertinent definitions and extant theories related to the two conditions and their correlations with each other. We then synthesize theoretical components into a proposal of a comprehensive conceptual framework for understanding the relationship and clinical complexity of overlapping chronic pain and PTSD. We conclude with an example of an integrated treatment model designed specifically to address a fundamental factor associated with pain and PTSD: avoidance.