Description of Multidisciplinary Pain Process

Concepts of treatment at multidisciplinary pain clinics include

• reconceptualization of the patient pain and associated problems from uncontrollable to manageable;

• overt to covert efforts are made to foster optimism and combat demoralization;

• flexibility is the norm with attempts to individualize some aspects of treatment to patient's needs and unique physical and psychological characteristics;

• emphasize active patient participation and responsibility;

• provide education and training in the use of specific skills such as exercise, relaxation, and problem solving;

• encourage feelings of success, self-control, and self-efficacy;

• encourage patients to attribute success to their own role.

Programs usually emphasize physical conditioning, medication management, acquisition of coping and vocational skills, and gaining knowledge about pain and how the body functions. Individual and group counseling addresses patient needs. In contrast to traditional Western health care, the emphasis is on what the patient accomplishes, not on what providers accomplish. The providers can be teachers, coaches, and sources of information and support.

Multidisciplinary pain management requires the collaborative efforts of many health care providers including but not limited to physicians, psychologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, vocational counselors, social workers, ergonomists, and support staff.

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