| chronic pain

Referred for Pain Psychology Services... But Not Following Through?

A Prior History of Mental Health Services Helps

This poster was presented at the 2020 annual meeting of the American Academy of Pain Medicine.

Introduction: Many patients referred by pain physicians to pain psychology do not proceed to establish care with pain psychology. This study investigated factors that may influence whether chronic pain patients’ initiate behavioral pain treatment following pain physician referral.

Results: 74/150 (49.3%) of patients referred to pain psychology established care with pain psychology. 58/98 of patients who had previously seen mental health (MH) services established care with pain psychology (59.2%, 95% CI 46-72%) versus 16/52 (30.8%, 95% confidence interval 18-43%) who hadn't (OR 3.26, 95% CI 1.6-6.66). Among the patient subset with depression and/or anxiety, of those who had previously seen MH services, 47/82 (57.3%, 95% CI 47-68%) established care with pain psychology versus 3/20 (15%, 95% CI - 1-31%) of those who had not (OR 7.61, 95% CI 6.94-8.27). 43/96 (45%, 95% CI 35-55%) referred for general pain psychology evaluations established care versus 24/38 (61%, 95% CI 45-96%) referred for implantable device pre-procedure evaluation.

Discussion: Patients are significantly more likely to establish care with pain psychology if they have previously seen a MH professional. Targeted interventions are needed to improve likelihood of patients who are naïve to MH services engaging with pain psychology services.


Access abstract 506.

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