[Psychotherapies for the Treatment of Phantom Limb Pain]

INTRODUCTION: The phantom limb pain has been described as a condition in which patients experience a feeling of itching, spasm or pain in a limb or body part that has been previously amputated. Such pain can be induced by a conflict between the representation of the visual and proprioceptive feedback of the previously healthy limb. The phantom limb pain occurs in at least 42 to 90% of amputees. Regular drug treatment of phantom limb pain is almost never effective. METHODS: A systematic review of the literature was conducted in Medline and Cochrane using the MESH terms "phantom limb pain" and "psychotherapy", published in the last 10 years, in English and Spanish, finding 49 items. After reviewing the abstracts, 25 articles were excluded for not being related to the objective of the research. Additionally cross references of included articles and literature were reviewed. OBJECTIVES: To describe the psychotherapies used in the management of phantom limb pain, their effectiveness and clinical application reported in the literature. AIMS: The mechanisms underlying phantom limb pain were initially explained, as were the published studies on the usefulness of some psychotherapies such as mirror visual feedback and immersive virtual reality, visual imagery, desensitization and reprocessing eye movements and hypnosis. CONCLUSIONS: The phantom limb pain is a complex syndrome that requires pharmacological and psychotherapeutic intervention. The psychotherapies that have been used the most as adjuvants in the treatment of phantom limb pain are mirror visual feedback, desensitization and reprocessing eye movements, imagery and hypnosis. Studies with more representative samples, specifically randomized trials are required.

Cárdenas, Katherine
Aranda, Mariana
Item Type: 
Journal Article
Publication Title: 
Revista Colombiana De Psiquiatria
Journal Abbreviation: 
Rev Colomb Psiquiatr
Publication Date: 
Publication Year: 
Library Catalog: 
PMID: 28728802

Turabian/Chicago Citation

Katherine Cárdenas and Mariana Aranda. 2017-09. "[Psychotherapies for the Treatment of Phantom Limb Pain]." Revista Colombiana De Psiquiatria 46: 3: 178-186. 10.1016/j.rcp.2016.08.003.

Wikipedia Citation

<ref> {{Cite journal | doi = 10.1016/j.rcp.2016.08.003 | issn = 0034-7450 | volume = 46 | pages = 178-186 | last = Cárdenas | first = Katherine | coauthors = Aranda, Mariana | title = [Psychotherapies for the Treatment of Phantom Limb Pain] | journal = Revista Colombiana De Psiquiatria | date = 2017-09 | pmid = | pmc = }} </ref>