Epidemiologic Perspective on Chronic Pain Treatment
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OBJECTIVE: To review the epidemiologic literature concerning psychosocial mediators of outcome in chronic pain. These factors deserve attention in the assessment and treatment of chronic pain by mental health professionals. METHOD: We reviewed literature dealing with epidemiologic perspectives on abuse, depression, addiction, employment, coping skills, and psychosocial problems. Treatments considered include analgesics, psychological rehabilitation, and prevention of disability. RESULTS: Psychosocial factors such as abuse, mood disorder, employment handicap, poor coping skills, and other psychosocial problems are commonly found in chronic pain patients referred to clinics. CONCLUSION: Many psychosocial factors that can be identified in chronic pain sufferers are relevant to the professional skills of mental health professionals. These factors are determinants of prognosis, course, and outcome of chronic pain.
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