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Presurgical Pain Evaluations

The team of licensed psychologists, counselors, and social workers at PsyMed Health are dedicated to helping people achieve better health and well-being. We use a personalized, collaborative approach to help our patients meet their goals. For patients struggling with chronic pain, we offer presurgical pain evaluations and psychological assessments to prepare for surgical intervention. We are licensed to treat patients via online telehealth in more than 44 states.

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Pre-surgical Pain Assessment

What is a Presurgical Pain Psychological Assessment?

A presurgical pain evaluation involves assessment by an experienced behavioral health professional in order to identify a patient’s needs prior to surgery. By getting an idea of any potential barriers, such as psychological conditions, behavioral health issues, or risk factors, our team can suggest tools to help the patient be better prepared for surgery.

Studies show that patients who undergo preoperative psychological assessment with a patient-centered approach may have better post-surgical outcomes and improved long-term Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Preoperative Assessment and Management of Patients with Pain and Anxiety Disorders Doan LV, Blitz J Go to Source health.

Primary goals of presurgical pain psychological assessment

  • Identify pre-existing psychological conditions: Common mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can make it difficult to cope with pain. Identifying these conditions before surgery allows for proper treatment and support.
  • Evaluate patient expectations: A person’s beliefs and expectations about pain can significantly impact their experience of pain. Working together, we can address any unrealistic or unhelpful beliefs or expectations around pain and recovery.
  • Assess coping strategies: The team at PsyMed Health works with patients to replace unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as excessive use of pain medication or avoidance behaviors, with more sustainable coping mechanisms that will better serve them after surgery.
  • Identify risk factors for chronic pain: Some psychological factors can contribute to the development of chronic pain after surgery. By identifying individuals at risk, we can provide targeted interventions to improve their chances of post-surgical success.
  • Determine treatment readiness: We evaluate each patient’s preparedness and motivation for pain management treatment in order to tailor treatment plans and enhance the effectiveness of surgical intervention.
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What Is Involved in a Presurgical Evaluation?

A presurgical evaluation is typically performed by a licensed psychologist. The assessment may cover topics such as pain history, medical history, psychological symptoms, previous experiences with surgery, social support, and the impact of pain on daily functioning. This assessment helps in ensuring the patient’s well-being throughout the surgical process.

Typical steps in the presurgical evaluation include:

  • Clinical Interview: This is a comprehensive interview to understand the patient’s pain history and their current emotional state.
  • Psychological Testing: Standardized psychological tests and assessments to evaluate the patient’s cognitive functioning, emotional well-being, and psychological factors related to pain perception.
  • Pain Assessment: Assessment of pain levels, pain-related disability, and the impact of pain on daily functioning.
  • Psychiatric Evaluation: If there are indications of psychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety disorders, or substance abuse, the psychologist may conduct a psychiatric evaluation to assess the severity and nature of these conditions.
  • Risk Assessment: Evaluation of potential risk factors that may impact the patient’s safety during the procedure or affect the success of the pain management intervention.
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Presurgical Pain Evaluation Results

The PsyMed psychologist will carefully evaluate the results of the assessment in order to provide recommendations to the patient and their surgical team. Depending on the patient’s needs and level of readiness, presurgical treatments, such as counseling, may be recommended to address any psychological factors that could impact the patient’s long-term outcomes.

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We want you to have the best chance possible for long-term health and wellness. Contact us to learn more about presurgical pain evaluations or to schedule an appointment.

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1 Doan LV, Blitz J. Preoperative Assessment and Management of Patients with Pain and Anxiety Disorders. Curr Anesthesiol Rep. 2020;10(1):28-34. doi: 10.1007/s40140-020-00367-9. Epub 2020 Jan 10. PMID: 32435161; PMCID: PMC7222996.

The providers at PsyMed Health have approved this content.

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