foundations from the Foundation:

Wilbert "Bill" Fordyce

Fordyce, W. E., Fowler, R. S. Jr., Lehmann, J. F., Delateur, B. J., Sand, P. L., Trieschmann, R. B. (1973). Operant conditioning in the treatment of chronic pain. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 54 (9), 399-408.

The second selection for "foundations from the Foundation" comes from Wilbert "Bill" Fordyce, PhD (1923-2009). Dr. Fordyce received his PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of Washington in 1953. After working at the Seattle Veterans Affairs hospital for several years, he joined the university's Department of Rehabilitation Medicine in 1959 as an assistant professor. He became full professor in 1970, and professor emeritus in 1993. He was a founding member of International Association for the Study of Pain and the American Pain Association, and a fellow of the American Psychological Association. He was President of Division 22 and served on the Boards and as President of many professional organizations.

Dr. Fordyce pioneered the use of behavioral psychological principles in the treatment of chronic pain and other chronic medical conditions. His book "Behavioral Methods in Chronic Pain and Illness" is still widely cited in the field of Rehabilitation Medicine. Dr. Fordyce's professional accomplishments were honored with innumerable awards, including the establishment of the annual American Pain Society "Wilbert E. Fordyce Clinical Award".

Photo courtesy UW Medicine/Health Sciences News and Community Relations

Photo courtesy UW Medicine/Health Sciences News and Community Relations

Dr. Fordyce developed approaches to dealing with chronic pain that were groundbreaking at the time. He used behavioral principles to encourage chronic-pain patients to become active again and to cut back on the amount of pain medication used. His work led the way for the integration of psychological principles and psychologists into the care of people with chronic pain. In the early 1970's, Dr. Fordyce and his colleagues conducted a study that operant learning methods could be used to increase activity and reduce medication for people with chronic pain being treated on an inpatient admission.

Operant conditioning in the treatment of chronic pain (PDF, 1.52MB)