Many people who live with chronic pain report that they also suffer from low mood, irritability, and withdrawal from activities and relationships. Although traditionally this was conceptualised as 'depression', new evidence suggest that it is qualitatively different from clinical depression, and not surprisingly, the interventions that have been developed for groups with clinical depression don't seem to be of much help in the context of chronic pain.
Dr. Pincus describes this evidence and suggest ways in which clinicians can distinguish between depression and pain-related distress. She also describes current interventions and proposes ways of improving clinical and self-management for people with chronic pain.
In this session, you will learn about:
- The difference between clinical depression and pain-related distress.
- Ways to elicit important information from patients and recognise 'cues' for distress.
- Current interventions, and the evidence about their effectiveness.
- Promising new interventions that might help patients.
Professor Tamar Pincus holds a PhD in psychology (University College London), as well as Masters degrees in experimental research methods in psychology (UCL), and epidemiology (Cambridge University). She is a registered practicing practitioner with the Health Professional Council. Her research has embraced a variety of methodologies, including experimental, epidemiological and qualitative. The research has included investigation of attention and recall in pain patients; the psychological predictors for poor outcome in low back pain, and the study of clinicians' beliefs and attitudes in low back pain. Her research has included the investigation of interventions through randomised controlled trials, and throughout she has collaborated closely with researchers from many disciplines, including doctors, physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors and clinical psychologists, from a multitude of institutions, in the UK and internationally.
She also convened the international consensus group to establish what factors and measures should be included in prospective cohorts investigation the transition from early to persistent back pain. Most recently her research has focused on delivering effective reassurance to patients in primary care, and studying the use of technology to deliver rehabilitation. Her practical work has focused on training practitioners in effective communication skills and fostering awareness of patients' psychological needs and concerns.