Dr. David B. Adams – Psychological Blog

Psychology of Injury, Pain, Anxiety and Depression

Psychological Examination – When Is It Needed?

You need a psychological examination of the patient to determine if they are a candidate for psychological care, but is this the only time a psychological evaluation is needed?

It is true that treatment cannot proceed without diagnosis. It is also true that a diagnosis cannot be made without examination.

However, the vast majority of patients seen are not referred for treatment. Most are referred because they are failing to recover. They are being provided with adequate post-injury care, but either there is no change, or their complaints are worsening.

There are numerous psychological factors that can contribute to this. Some of these are withheld by the patient. Others are outside the patient_s immediate awareness. All of these factors conspire to block the patient_s recovery.

Sometimes these are referred to as _treatment resistant patients._ Often they are not resistant to injury care, their true needs and fears are merely not known.

Thus, while you can, and should, refer a patient for psychological examination if you suspect anxiety, mood, sleep, addictive or other mental disorder, you should also be referring those patients who seem to languish in care despite your best efforts to assist them.

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