6007 – Rethinking Pain: Treating the Person AND the Injury
Humans can respond to injury – physically, mentally and emotionally – in different ways. There is a newer approach emerging pushing healthcare professionals to take a holistic view of the patient – looking at each type of response to an injury and understanding how each of them can affect patient recovery. In the field of case management it is easy to become task oriented but approaching care by concentrating on not just the injury but the psychosocial response to the injury can benefit their return-to-work journey greatly.
Consider the case of a truck driver who incurs a low back injury as the result of an accident. He is in constant pain and suffers from anxiety and exhibits fear-avoidance behaviors because of both his physical condition and the fact that he is bringing home only sixty percent of his original salary. Physical treatment of the injury alone would not be sufficient for this individual, whose problems and symptoms could worsen his overall health and create new complications, from addiction to pain medication to deterioration through non-compliance due to catastrophic thinking patterns.
This presentation takes the biopsychosocial methodology of looking at the holistic response to injury and infuses it into workers’ compensation cases where medical treatment alone is not successful. It also covers:
1. Describe the linear vs. biopsychosocial (patient-centric) model
2. Recognize how a biopsychosocial approach improves return-to-work disposition
3. Define how to ethically apply these principles while respecting the rights inherent dignity to all clients served
4. Outline strategies to identify cases early and manage differently for better outcomes and reduced costs