Social History

The social history provides valuable insight into the patient's social structure, coping mechanisms, and support systems (Jamison and Virts 1990). A history of substance abuse, employment issues, or family difficulties affects an individual's ability to cope with his/her pain. Studies show that patients who are married or have children have a more positive outlook and are better capable of managing their pain. In addition, job satisfaction and one's general attitude toward life play a significant role in a patient's ability to cope with difficulties. The history of drug use or alcohol abuse is another important factor in alerting the physician about potential medication abuse.

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