Integrating Pain Management in Clinical Practice

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Abstract

There is much evidence to suggest that psychological and social issues are predictive of pain severity, emotional distress, work disability, and response to medical treatments among persons with chronic pain. Psychologists can play an important role in the identification of psychological and social dysfunction and in matching personal characteristics to effective interventions as part of a multidisciplinary approach to pain management, leading to a greater likelihood of treatment success. The assessment of different domains using semi-structured clinical interviews and standardized self-report measures permits identification of somatosensory, emotional, cognitive, behavioral and social issues in order to facilitate treatment planning. In this paper, we briefly describe measures to assess constructs related to pain and intervention strategies for the behavioral treatment of chronic pain and discuss related psychiatric and substance abuse issues. Finally, we offer a future look at the role of integrating pain management in clinical practice in the psychological assessment and treatment for persons with chronic pain.

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