ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PSYCHOSOCIAL ASSESSMENT
WHY DO WE NEED PSYCHOSOCIAL ASSESSMENT?
Psychosocial assessment is important because patient's maladaptive thoughts, beliefs and emotions adversely influence:
● Behaviors related to pain & care-seeking
● Self-concept and self-efficacy
● Relationships at home, work, social and quality of life
● Participation in physiotherapy
Moreover, Edwards et al. in 2016 stated in their study that psychological variables such as depression, anxiety and distress are among the most potent and robust predictors of transition from acute to chronic pain. Apart from this, negative emotions can be a risk factor creating vulnerability to chronic pain and disability AND a consequence of chronic pain and disability. They also specified that social support, active coping, acceptance, good self-efficacy can counter negative factors and foster resilience. This shows that psychosocial assessment plays a crucial role in our evaluation as we treat not only the target area of the patient in particular but the patient as a whole.
If you want to learn more about this topic, you can watch Mark Jones' lecture here:
WHAT SHOULD YOU SCREEN IN PSYCHOSOCIAL ASSESSMENT?
The following areas are screened in a psychosocial assessment:
- Personal life circumstances (culture, home, work, life generally)
- Experiences living with their problem(s)
- Individual's perspectives and social influences like:
- Cognitive factors
- Behavior and coping strategies
3 THINGS TO REMEMBER WHILE PERFORMING PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT
- Pay attention to spontaneous information that the patient offers for e.g. if you are asking them about their aggravating factors, they tell you how angry they are or how it makes them feel.
- It's best to ask explicit or specific questions after the subjective examination, or after you have built a rapport with the patient, as they are going to be more receptive to the line of questioning.
- Ask questions to know more about distress like, how are you coping with your pain or condition, and what are the strategies that you use to cope with it?
The purpose of psychosocial questionnaires is to identify potential psychosocial issues contributing to pain/disability, and it is also relevant to all patients as maladaptive pain cognitions exist in nociceptive, neuropathic or central sensitization pain presentations.
HOW SHOULD YOU SELECT QUESTIONNAIRES USING PATIENT INTERVIEW?
Look at the pictures below to know more about what questionnaires to select.
Thus, psychosocial assessment is a vital component of patient care because it helps us understand and address the impact of maladaptive thoughts, emotions, and beliefs on various aspects of a patient's life.
1. Lecture 'Psychosocial Focused Reasoning' by Mark Jones