Organization and Function of a Multidisciplinary Pain Clinic
Although acute pain is useful because it compels patients to seek medical counsel and serves as a useful diagnostic aid to the physician, in its chronic pathologic form it has no biologic value. Rather, chronic pain is a malefic force which often imposes severe emotional, physical, and economic stress on the patient, on his family, and on our society. Although accurate statistics are not available, data from a variety of sources suggest that chronic pain states cost the American people between 50 and 75 billions of dollars annually in hospital and health services and loss of work productivity. Even more important is the cost in terms of human suffering: millions of patients do not get the relief they deserve. Many of these are exposed to a high risk of iatrogenic complication from improper therapy, including narcotic intoxication and multiple, often useless, and at times mutilating operations; a significant number give up medical care and consult quacks who not only deplete the patient’s financial resources but often do harm; some patients with severe intractable pain become so desperate as to commit suicide.
KeywordsChronic Pain Pain Clinic Minnesota Multiphase Personality Inventory Medical Counsel Clinical Coordinator
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