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Background: ALGEA, the Greek word for suffering, is a joint research effort developed by the Universities of Cyprus and Crete in order to examine the quality of life in patients with a chronic pain condition and develop an intervention program based on ACT. Here, we report some preliminary results that refer to differences in illness perception and...
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 dyadic interactions 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.