- David Clarke, MD, President, Psychophysiologic Disorders Association, Portland, OR
40% of primary care patients suffer from chronic pain or other symptoms that are not explained by demonstrable organ disease or structural abnormalities. Instead, their illness is usually linked to stress, trauma or repressed emotions. New techniques enable accurate diagnosis and successful treatment of these issues leading to relief of symptoms, lower healthcare costs and a more rewarding practice for clinicians.
A stepwise process (and the supporting published evidence) is presented for successful diagnosis and treatment of this population that includes: a) discussing stress as a possible cause of symptoms in a way that gains the patient’s confidence and cooperation, b) performing an assessment for the range of issues capable of causing pain and other physical symptoms, c) training in new psychotherapeutic techniques that can alleviate (not merely support coping with) physical symptoms and d) review of options for further development of skills managing this population. This is followed by interactive discussion of typical cases. Outcomes from learning these techniques include relief of patients’ symptoms, lower healthcare costs and a more rewarding practice for clinicians.
- Understand the difference between Central vs Peripheral Pain
- Know how to discuss stress-related illness with patients to gain their confidence and cooperation
- Be able to use new Psychotherapeutic Techniques that can alleviate Central Pain and Functional Symptoms - AND - Have follow-up options for further developing the ability incorporate these techniques into routine practice