Chronic Pain in Medical and Psychiatric Illness
Primary care is the entry point for most patients into the healthcare system and where most patients seeking relief from pain are seen. Pain has been described as the number one reason why people seek healthcare in the United States. Primary care providers serve patients with mental illness for their medical needs, including pain. Cross-culturally, the meaning of pain and people’s responses to it vary, often in relation to its origin in the physical or psychic realm. For example, in some cultures people will seek out a traditional healer for psychosocial problems and “psychic” pain, but a “professional” practitioner for treatment of pain, say, from a fracture, while faith and spiritual solace are also very important for many suffering from pain.