Dr. David B. Adams – Psychological Blog

Psychology of Illness, Pain, Anxiety and Depression

Terminating Care

It is imperative to take a patient’s history more than once. My experience is that no one truly gets a patient history. They ask `where does it hurt_ and occasionally `how did it happen_ and sometimes `what did Dr. Smith do_ or `did the medication help._ Rarely, does anyone even ask if the person is now or has ever had problems with substance abuse, mood disorder, impulsive behavior or past injuries, lawsuits or arrests.

I also find that there is most often no consistency in the way the injury was reported. There is often appreciable anger regarding the timeliness and quality of care after injury. Few ask about this, but it is critical because it sets the stage for how the patient will respond to current (and future) care.

Clinically, I look not only for missing data but for inconsistencies. An exam can be an extended period of observation. You can determine whether the restrictions and assigned physical limits are consistent with what is seen in the office. You can also determine if the history contradicts what was said elsewhere (almost always the case_whether deliberate or accidental).

The most critical inconsistency is where others are making elaborate efforts for transitional duty with the employer, and, yet, the patient has no intention of returning to that job_and often no intention of returning at all.

Inconsistency is not always a sign of dishonesty. It can be a sign of confusion and/or depression. In either case, inconsistency can obstruct access to appropriate care.

Comments for this post are closed.

Character Pathology

There tends to be less psychological disorder in recent immigrants to our country. They often come from poverty or are fleeing …
Read Blog Post

Orthopedic Injury and PTSD

Let_s take a brief example. A young adult male strains his back at work. There are no remarkable physical findings. He complains …
Read Blog Post

Is this Munchausen’s Syndrome

An injured worker who between office visits makes frequent visits to the ER. The number of ER visits are mounting and they …
Read Blog Post