The objectives of multidisciplinary pain assessment are to (1) identify those patients who could benefit from a physical and psychological rehabilitation program based on cognitive behavioral principles of effecting behavioral change and pain reduction, (2) to rule out those patients who have a medical or psychological contraindication to such a program, and (3) to identify other, perhaps more effective methods of treatment and to help establish appropriate therapeutic goals.
Pain center referrals from primary care physicians are usually made by either a letter or a telephone call from another physician or on occasion from another type of health care provider. The pain center physician may accept the patient for multidisciplinary evaluation, for emergency treatment, and for a consult, ask additional information, reject the patient, or the patient may have unresolved medical problem that should be addressed before referral to a pain center. Once referral is established to a multidisciplinary program the initial screening evaluation consists of medical and psychological evaluation, review of patients' diaries, referral letter, medical records, and spouse interview.
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