chapter  Chapter 16
27 Pages

Life Care Planning for People with Chronic Pain*

ByDenise D. Lester

Significant pain can be experienced as a result of a multitude of medical problems. Chronic pain syndrome refers to pain that lasts more than six months, worsens with time, and is associated with major comorbidities, especially psychological. Completion of the patient evaluation is the primary essential step for patients suffering from pain of six months duration or longer. This includes review of diagnostic evaluations, medical and psychological consultations, and laboratory, radiological, and surgical intervention. The pain management clinic is comprehensive in its evaluation and treatment of pain and often utilizes interdisciplinary specialists either by referral or directly within its clinic such as psychiatrists, psychologists, addictionologists, physical therapists, and social workers. All chronic pain patients should have psychological counseling and psychological testing in the course of their pain diagnosis or management. Cost estimates for chronic pain include medication and equipment repair and replacement, and 1- to 2-year reevaluations with X-rays, blood work, and consultations of the individual specialists will be necessary.