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Papers of the Week

Papers: 25 Dec 2021 - 31 Dec 2021

2021 Dec 23


[From gut feeling to visceral pain : Effects of negative expectations in the context of the gut-brain axis].


Aulenkamp J, Steinmüller K, Icenhour A, Elsenbruch S
Schmerz. 2021 Dec 23.
PMID: 34940915.


Disturbances of the gut-brain axis are characterized by complex dysfunctions on peripheral and central nervous system levels, which can contribute to visceral hypervigilance and hyperalgesia and imprint visceral pain. Numerous cognitive, emotional and psychoneurobiological factors are involved in visceral pain modulation, which in the psychosocial treatment concept can have a positive as well as a negative impact on the experience of visceral pain. Nocebo effects induced by negative expectations are of high clinical relevance in acute and especially in chronic visceral pain but the underlying mechanisms remain insufficiently understood. Verbal instructions, previous experiences and learning processes as well as emotional factors, such as fear and stress contribute to the development and maintenance of negative expectation effects. Targeted communication strategies, a sensitive use of information in the clarification and positive environmental context conditions can contribute to establishing an adequate expectation management and minimize negative expectation effects in the clinical practice. At the same time, translational research approaches are required to gain further insights into the mediators and moderators of negative expectation effects and to transfer these into clinical practice. In this way the treatment of patients with disorders of the gut-brain communication can be improved.