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Beth Darnall

Academic Appointments

Key Documents

Contact Information

  • Clinical Offices
    Stanford Univ Pain Management Ctr 450 Broadway St Pavillion A FL 1 MC 5340 Redwood City, CA 94063
    Tel Work (650) 723-6238 Fax (650) 721-3417
  • Academic Offices
    Not for medical emergencies or patient use

Professional Overview

Clinical Focus

  • Pain Psychology
  • Psychology

Academic Appointments

Professional Education

Fellowship: The Johns Hopkins University MD (2004)
Internship: Southern Arizona VA Healthcare System AZ (2002)
Medical Education: University of Colorado at Boulder CO (2002)
MA: University of Colorado at Boulder, Clinical Psychology (1998)
PhD: University of Colorado at Boulder, Clinical Psychology (2002)
Post-Doc: The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Rehabilitation Psychology

Community and International Work

Scientific Focus

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

A current study is entitled, "Pain catastrophizing and systemic inflammation in pre- and post-menopausal women with chronic pain." This is a randomized controlled, prospective experimental study with longitudinal follow-up for women with general musculoskeletal pain and women with fibromyalgia. All experiments are completed and data are being analyzed. All participants had a study visit that was standardized by menstrual phase (for pre-menopausal women). Baseline blood was collected via peripheral catheter. Participants assigned to the treatment arm of the study underwent a 10 min mental catastrophizing induction while the control group rested. Additional blood samples were collected at 1.5, 2.5, 3.5 and 4.5 hours post-catastrophizing stress (the blood collections for the control group were synchronized with this format). Serum is being assayed for a broad panel of pro-and anti-inflammatory cytokines. Our pilot work suggested that IL-6 and TNF-a are expressed in women with chronic pain following an imaginal catastrophizing experiment. We aim to better characterize these physiological responses, and to elucidate the balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines. We are following participants over time to determine whether cytokine responsivity is linked to pain progression.
Other research examines sex/gender differences in pain, pain psychology, and other pain treatment. Recent work has involved examining factors that predict opioid prescription, and consequences of long-term opioid use. As an outgrowth of my research and clinical work, I have wrote a book for people with chronic pain describing the connections between stress, pain, and opioids, and empowering patients to need less opioid painkiller medication and by optimizing cognitive and behavioral skills (to be published in 2013).


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