Dr. David B. Adams – Psychological Blog

Psychology of Illness, Pain, Anxiety and Depression

Distortion Fueled by Others

If an injured worker has subaverage education, what are the implications for their recovery? Does education or even intelligence have much of an impact upon the course of recovery?”

This is not complex, but it bears close examination:

If a patient has a complex back, shoulder, neck or knee (etc) injury, the question is how much of the information about there problems are they able to retain. If school was difficult for them, and high school graduation came with difficulty if at all, are they able to understand the role of an epidural injection, the action of medication or the results of an MRI?

I believe that the answer is an overwhelming “No.” They do not understand or retain information given to them regarding their condition. They may retain some of the terms, but they are very likely to fail to fully understand what is told to them. They may feel that the information given them is too much to remember and certainly too much to utilize.

On the other hand, the injured worker who is very bright and highly education may feel that he/she is not being provided enough information; that they are being treated as though they are incompetent to understand their own condition.

Educating a patient pre- or post-surgically must take into consideration:

If these patient variables are known, you know how to educate the patient to maximize their understanding of their condition. If these variables are unknown, then you make false assumptions as to how prepared that patient is to understand and accept his/her condition.”

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