The psychologist is a member of the CPMU clinical team and participates in clinical decisions regarding a patient’s treatment in this Program, as well as the need for follow-up treatment.
Every patient in the CPMU completes a psychometric measure (MMPI-2) that provides information about degree of distress, disability and the emotional cost of chronic pain on one’s life. Each patient’s results are discussed with the patient, psychological staff and their case manager in order that there is increased awareness of the thoughts, feelings and behavior as they relate to coping with chronic pain. Co-morbidity is also assessed and addressed as needed.
All patients also complete various admission and discharge clinical measures, which are essentially utilized by the Program psychologist for evaluation of clinical change. The same measures may be completed at the 6-week follow-up sessions. The psychologist is also the main researcher in the CPMU Program. Psychometric data provided by patients as part of their assessment can also be anonymously analyzed in order to study group Program outcomes. At other times, specific research projects are conducted by students under the psychologist's suprvision as well as collaboratively with other academic colleagues.
In addition to the aforementioned clinical services, the Program psychologist conducts psychological assessments which include a comprehensive clinical interview and the administration of several psychometric measures. Moreover, individualized psychological therapy is provided by the Program psychologist, where appropriate, as an adjunct to the programming during the four week CPMU treatment.
It is not uncommon that patients treated at the CPMU undergo further individualized treatment after their discharge with the Program psychologist to work on outstanding clinical issues related to their chronic pain.