Director of the Stanford Pain Relief Innovations Lab
Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine and (by Courtesy) Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University
Co-Chair, Pain Psychology Task Force, American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM)
Beth Darnall, PhD is a pain psychologist, clinical scientist, and Associate Professor at Stanford University School of Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative, and Pain Medicine. Dr. Darnall is principal investigator for large NIH and PCORI-funded multi-site clinical trials that broadly investigate behavioral medicine strategies for acute and chronic pain, and voluntary patient-centered prescription opioid reduction. She holds leadership roles within the American Academy of Pain Medicine, the International Association for the Study of Pain, and the American Pain Society.
Dr. Darnall has served on multiple national clinical guidelines committees related to best practices in pain care. She has authored/co-authored 5 books for patients and clinicians. Her expertise is in creating and investigating brief, scalable, accessible treatments for acute and chronic pain.
In 2018 she briefed the U.S. Congress on the opioid and pain crises, and in 2019 provided invited testimony to the FDA on iatrogenic harms from forced opioid tapering. Her work has been featured in Scientific American, NPR Radio, BBC Radio, and Nature. In 2018 she spoke on the psychology of pain relief at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
As a pain psychologist, she has over 15 years experience treating adults with chronic pain, and has lived through her own chronic pain experience. She enjoys helping individuals with chronic pain gain control over mind and body and live their best life possible.
As Co-Chair of the Pain Psychology Task Force at the American Academy of Pain Medicine she led the development of national behavioral medicine workshops for interdisciplinary chronic pain clinicians. She is the author of “Less Pain, Fewer Pills: Avoid the dangers of prescription opioids and gain control over chronic pain” ©2014, “The Opioid-Free Pain Relief Kit” ©2016, “Psychological Treatment for Chronic Pain: The evidence-based basics” ©2018 (American Psychological Association Press). She authors a Psychology Today blog “Less Pain, Fewer Pills” and has been featured and published in multiple major press outlets including The Huffington Post, MORE Magazine, Women’s Health, Time Magazine, Scientific American Mind, ABCNews, and The Washington Post.
Recent Sessions at Neurovations Events
- The Psychosocial Dimensions of Pain: Shifting Patient Mindsets and Altering Provider Actions to Enhance Effectiveness
- Treating Pain & Reducing Opioids with a Dearth of Resources: Evidence-based Strategies for Improving Patient Outcomes
- Sun, E. C., Darnall, B. D., Baker, L. C., & Mackey, S. (2016). Incidence of and risk factors for chronic opioid use among opioid-naive patients in the postoperative period. JAMA internal medicine, 176(9), 1286-1293.
- Darnall, B. D., Ephraim, P., Wegener, S. T., Dillingham, T., Pezzin, L., Rossbach, P., & MacKenzie, E. J. (2005). Depressive symptoms and mental health service utilization among persons with limb loss: results of a national survey. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 86(4), 650-658.
- Sun, E. C., Dixit, A., Humphreys, K., Darnall, B. D., Baker, L. C., & Mackey, S. (2017). Association between concurrent use of prescription opioids and benzodiazepines and overdose: retrospective analysis. bmj, 356, j760.
- Darnall, B. D. (2009). Self-delivered home-based mirror therapy for lower limb phantom pain. American journal of physical medicine & rehabilitation/Association of Academic Physiatrists, 88(1), 78.
- Darnall, B. D., Sturgeon, J. A., Kao, M. C., Hah, J. M., & Mackey, S. C. (2014). From catastrophizing to recovery: a pilot study of a single-session treatment for pain catastrophizing. Journal of pain research, 7, 219.