Open menu

The MedRisk Blog

MedRisk Webinar Spotlight: Psychosocial Factors in Chronic Pain and Return to Work

Join MedRisk’s “Psychosocial Barriers for Returning to Work” webinar on Tuesday, October 19 at 1 p.m. EDT, where we will be discussing how psychosocial factors can lead to the development of chronic pain, impacting return to work.

In workers’ compensation, 15-20% of patients account for 70% of costs due to the development of chronic work disability. How do we begin to reduce that cost burden and get people back to work successfully so that more people can get the WC benefits that they deserve?

One place to look is at the psychosocial factors that can affect the development of chronic pain—and a workers’ subsequent recovery.

In fact, psychosocial factors are one of the strongest predictors for development of chronic pain. “Biopsychosocial factors have been associated with actual physical changes in the brain and nervous system that increase pain sensitivity and severity,” said Anne Marciniak, PT, DPT, the Clinical Services Team Lead for MedRisk.

When it comes to recovery, biopsychosocial factors like pain, fear, self-efficacy and patient beliefs about the nature of pain play an important role. A significant presence of these factors, as such, typically renders the traditional biomedical model of treatment inadequate. Focusing on biomedical treatment only is bound to lead to overmedicalization and less-than-optimal outcomes.

Alternatively, the biopsychosocial model of treatment involves interaction among biological, psychological and sociocultural factors. With a validated measure, providers can identify the presence of psychosocial risk factors and assign a risk level for poor outcomes. With this context and a psychologically informed physical therapy practice, the therapist becomes a coach for self-management and behavior modification. This practice is designed to prevent functional limitations associated with pain.

Tune in as Anne Marciniak, PT,DPT and Katie McBee, PT, DPT,OCS,MS,CEAS dig deeper into this topic in the one-hour webinar sponsored by MedRisk, Phoenix Rehab and DentalWorks USA. Continuing education credits are available for adjusters, registered nurses and nurse case managers in several states. Check here for details and to register for “Psychosocial Barriers for Returning to Work.”