Beth Darnall, PhD
Dr. Darnall is a clinical associate professor at Stanford University. As a pain psychologist and researcher, she treats and studies people who have chronic pain of all types. Overarching themes of her research include chronic pain in women and optimizing the mind-body connection to treat pain. Her collaborative work with Dr. Heather Zwickey, entitled “Pilot study of inflammatory responses following a negative imaginal focus in person with chronic pain: analysis by sex/gender” can be found in Gender Medicine, 2010; 7(3):247-60.
Her current and past studies have focused on pain mechanisms in women, inflammatory responses following pain catastrophizing, understanding the influence of psychological experience on labor and labor outcomes in nulliparous women, understanding opioid prescribing patterns for women with chronic pain, developing gender specific behavioral chronic pain treatment for incarcerated women with substance abuse, and self-delivered mirror therapy for phantom pain (a virtual reality pain treatment). Based on the success of her pilot study on self-delivered mirror therapy, in 2010 she developed “Do It Yourself Mirror Therapy ©” a DVD tool designed to teach amputees with phantom pain how to treat their phantom pain at home with mirror therapy.
Recent work has focused on the risks and consequences of long term opioid use in women:
Dr. Darnall is the past president of the Pain Society of Oregon, is advisor to the board for End the Pain Project (a non-profit organization dedicated to the global reduction of phantom pain), is on the board of directors of For Grace (a non-profit organization dedicated to the equal and ethical treatment of women with chronic pain), and is on the board of the directors of the Foundation for Ethics in Pain Care. She has several leadership roles within the American Pain Society.
Some recent press on Dr. Darnall's work:
2012 The Portland Tribune features Dr. Darnall as an expert in an article on the placebo effect: “A Pill to Cure All Ills? It’s Just in Our Heads” (author: Peter Korn).