In Search for Novel and More Effective Psychological Treatments for Chronic Pain: The “Algea” Research Project

Maria Karekla, Evangelos C. Karademas, Vasilis S. Vasiliou, Orestis Kasinopoulos, Magdalini Flouri, Yiolanda Christou, Savvas Papacostas

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The aim of this paper is
to present the objectives
and current state of an
ongoing multilevel
collaborative research
project for the study of
pain. “Algea”, the pain
and suffering deity in
ancient Greek mythology,
was the name given to
this project, which aims
to investigate critical
factors involved in the
experience of pain, and
suffering. Moreover, the
project will examine the
effects of a novel
approach to treatment
based on Acceptance and
Commitment Therapy.
This is a collaborative
project between the
University of Cyprus, the
University of Crete, and
the Cyprus Institute of
Neurology and Genetics.
Algea is the first systematic effort to examine pain
related parameters and evaluate a novel
therapeutic approach aimed at alleviating the
suffering and interference in living experienced by
individuals with one or more chronic pain
conditions (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis). The specific
objectives of the “Algea” project include:
a) understanding the contributing factors involved
in the experience of pain in individuals with
chronic pain (CP) conditions, their dyadicinteractions with their partners, and differences
with individuals suffering from other chronic
illnesses not involving pain; b) designing a
culturally sensitive intervention based on new
empirical findings stemming from third-wave CBTs
for use in clinical settings (i.e., CP organizations,
CP rehabilitation and outpatients units, etc.); c)
evaluating via randomized clinical trials the
acceptability and effectiveness of this intervention
especially in reducing suffering, interference of
pain and medical utilization in various chronic pain
conditions; d) training interested health
professionals in this new approach and widely
disseminating it into clinical settings; and e)
translating the intervention into a digitally-based
intervention so as to be more accessible and reach
a wider audience of CP sufferers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297
Number of pages301
JournalEuropean Psychologist
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2017

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