Purpose of Review The complicated nature of chronic pain involves an interplay between psychological and physical factors, often resulting in increased emotional distress and reduced quality of life. This review is designed to help the medical practitioner who is working with chronic pain patients to be aware of psychological assessment techniques that can add to comprehensive patient understanding and more effectively guide treatment. Enhanced ability to assess and understand the emotional life of the chronic pain patient provides a basis for intervening and treating more successfully. Recent Findings There are a broad range of assessment techniques, some of which require a background in psychology and some that do not, that can identify psychological differences in chronic pain patients and serve to guide intervention strategies. Chronic pain is often comorbid with depression, anxiety, catastrophizing, and various ineffective coping strategies. Some patients, however, have demonstrated more adaptive and effective strategies for cognitively and behaviorally coping with pain and normalizing their lives. Proper assessment enables the individualization of treatment to overcome and/or build upon each patient’s psychological frame of mind to maximize the potential for effective functioning. Summary The use of standardized and documented psychological assessment techniques can lead to a better
Current Pain and Headache Reports – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 14, 2018
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