The classification of pain

Ole J Thienhaus, B. Eliot Cole

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Scopus citations


The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) defined pain as “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual and potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage or both” (IASP, 1986). The definition emphasized the subjective and psychological nature of pain, and appropriately avoided making the authenticity of pain contingent on an externally verifiable stimulus. Pain was understood to motivate those afflicted to seek relief from it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPain Management
Subtitle of host publicationA Practical Guide for Clinicians, Sixth Edition
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781420093193
ISBN (Print)0849309263, 9781420038927
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2001
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Thienhaus, O. J., & Cole, B. E. (2001). The classification of pain. In Pain Management: A Practical Guide for Clinicians, Sixth Edition (pp. 27-36). CRC Press.