TOPIC: Total pain theory. PURPOSE: Describe total pain theory and apply it to research and practice in advanced heart failure (HF). SOURCE OF INFORMATION: Total pain theory provides a holistic perspective for improving care, especially at the end of life. In advanced HF, multiple domains of well-being known to influence pain perception are adversely affected by declining health and increasing frailty. A conceptual framework is suggested which addresses domains of well-being identified by total pain theory. CONCLUSION: By applying total pain theory, providers may be more effective in mitigating the suffering of individuals with progressive, life-limiting diseases.
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