Lectures, Seminars and Workshops available to the business and professional community.
- Psychological Aspects of Work-Related Injury
- Mood Disorders Affecting Physical Pain
- Personality Types in Medical Management
- Overcoming Fear of Re-Injury
- Catastrophic InjuriesSomatoform Disorders - Somatoform Pain and Conversion
- Factitious disorders
- Depression and Anxiety Complicating Recovery from Work Injury
- Factors in Lumbar, Cervical & Carpal Tunnel Injuries
- Posttraumatic and Acute Stress Disorders
- Pre- and Post Surgical Cases: Psychological Complications and Solutions
- The Aging Injured Worker
- Personal Injury: Exacerbated, Exaggerated or Fabricated
Seminars are typically scheduled on Friday mornings, although alternate accommodations can be made for regional, annual, lunch and learn, or other special presentation needs.
To arrange a seminar, call Atlanta Medical Psychology at 404-252-6454 to determine date availability and coordinate media needs. Past audiences include:
- The Georgia Board of Workers' Compensation
- Institute of Continuing Legal Education
- Georgia Association of Occupational Medicine
- Georgia Nursing Association
- Risk management associations
- Nurse case management companies
- Employers and insurers
Case Management Update
This Week's Topic: "Feel Their Pain?"
Question: "…makes a reasonable case that the pain treatment center has not a clue about the pain the patient is experiencing..."
Dr. Adams replies: Many patients feel that none of their friends, family or prior co-workers appreciate the extent and intensity of their pain. These patients may find themselves placed in chronic pain support groups, just as there are groups for other human conditions from smoking to gambling. However, the question must be asked as to whether support groups enable the patient a new means of coping or merely encourage the patient to focus upon the pain. For example, if the pain support group is one of the few activities in which the patient engages, then s/he would be prone to focus upon pain between sessions as part of socializing with the group; seeing the group as “friends” who can share an obsessive focus upon pain.
The patient’s greater concern is that those who prescribe treatment cannot appreciate their experience of pain. “How does my doctor know? He did not have this injury, these surgeries, these limitations or have to live the life that I do. Yet he decides how this pain should be treated.”
There is a study (Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication 29 January 2013; doi: 10.1038/mp.2012.195) that suggests successful pain treatment is related to the clinician’s ability to empathize with the patient’s experience of pain. The operative word here is “successful” treatment since it is quite easy to treat pain with a dispassionate assessment of what the patient is experiencing. “The physician’s ability to take the patients’ perspective correlated with increased brain activations (in the physician) in the rostral anterior cingulate cortex, a region that has been associated with processing of reward and subjective value.”
The article went on to suggest that “physician treatment involves neural representations of treatment expectation, reward processing and empathy, paired with increased activation in attention-related structures…neural representations associated with reciprocal interactions between clinicians and patients; a hallmark for successful treatment outcomes.”
This research suggests that those who treat pain successfully do, indeed, relate at a neurological level with what the patient experiences when coping with pain. Thus the patients who feel that those treating him/her do not appreciate their degree of suffering may be correct.
Successful pain management or treatment may be related not only to the procedure being used, but belief in the success of the procedure and empathetic understanding of the ongoing emotional status of the patient.
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