Chronic pain and comorbid mood and substance use disorders: A biopsychosocial treatment approach
- Cite this article as:
- Cheatle, M.D. & Gallagher, R.M. Curr Psychiatry Rep (2006) 8: 371. doi:10.1007/s11920-006-0038-7
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Chronic pain is a colossal heath care problem that is devastating to the individual afflicted with unremitting pain and frustrating to the beleaguered health care provider attempting to adequately manage this multifaceted disease. The biopsychosocial model of pain management is a promising approach that emphasizes evidence-based medication management in conjunction with cognitive-behavioral therapy and a graded exercise program. The patient with chronic pain and concomitant mood and/or substance use disorders is exceptionally challenging. Effective pharmacologic management of pain and comorbid mood disorders, including the thoughtful use of opioids, can have a dramatic effect in improving the quality of life in patients with chronic pain. The high prevalence of chronic pain in our society and the scarcity of experienced pain medicine physicians necessitate the development of a community-based systems approach to this complex patient population.