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Chronic Pain: Screening for Potential Psychological Factors

Chronic pain symptoms and the ability to manage and cope with them can be strongly influenced by what are generally referred to as psychological factors. These factors have the capacity to substantially hinder clinical improvement, cause symptom aggravation and reduce self-management capacity. Though these concepts are well-supported in the scientific literature, they are not inherently usable. Practical methods of revealing relevant psychological factors are needed. To explore whether psychological factors are clinically relevant, clinicians can ask questions during the consultation and/or use one of several screening questionnaires.

 

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Enhancing a Biopsychosocial Approach

Part of the Evidence in Action series by Palmer College of Chiropractic

The concept of caring for the whole patient is not new. As early as the 5th century BC, Hippocrates described the importance of attending to the person behind the disease rather than the disease itself. He described psychological, social and physical elements that variously combine and contribute to a person’s health. Assessing and addressing all three components (biological, psychological and social conditions) contributing to health is called a biopsychosocial approach.

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