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October 1962

Pain Study of Paraplegic Patients: The Rorschach Test as an Aid in Predicting Pain Relief by Means of Chordotomy

Author Affiliations

From the Psychology Service and Neurosurgical Section, Veterans Administration Medical Teaching Group Hospital, Memphis.

Arch Neurol. 1962;7(4):355-358. doi:10.1001/archneur.1962.04210040107012

A considerable body of literature on the nature and treatment of pain associated with spinal cord injury has accumulated since World War II.1-7

The psychogenic component of pain is probably best shown by pain threshold3 and phantom limb studies2 of patients with spinal cord injuries. The pain perception threshold is the lowest intensity of stimulus for producing a definite, sharp, stinging sensation, as measured by the Hardy et al.8 radiant energy pain stimulator. The pain reaction threshold, on the other hand, is that intensity of stimulus at which the subject winces or draws away. These investigators have shown that the threshold for perception of pain for a given individual is relatively constant, but the reactions to pain vary greatly. Among the psychogenic factors which alter the pain threshold are: distraction, intense concentration, auto-suggestion, and strong beliefs and convictions.9 Pain thresholds well below average, with the

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