University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications


A Comprehensive Approach to the Patient at End of Life: Assessment of Multidimensional Suffering

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry; Department of Medicine, Division of Palliative Medicine; Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Alternative and Complementary Medicine | Bioethics and Medical Ethics | Pain Management | Palliative Care


Pain is a multidimensional, complex experience. There are many challenges in identifying and meeting the needs of patients experiencing pain. Evaluation of pain from a bio-psycho-social-spiritual framework is particularly germane for patients approaching the end of life. This review explores the relation between the psychospiritual dimensions of suffering and the experience of physical pain, and how to assess and treat pain in a multidimensional framework. A review of empirical data on the relation between pain and suffering as well as interdisciplinary evidence-based approaches to alleviate suffering are provided.

DOI of Published Version



South Med J. 2016 Apr;109(4):200-6. doi: 10.14423/SMJ.0000000000000439. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Southern medical journal

PubMed ID