Friends, thanks for joining me on this episode. I am speaking with Physical Therapist Zachary Stearns about how to screen for psychological factors when treating patients with chronic pain. Zachary is a physical therapist in Durham, North Carolina. He's board-certified in Orthopedic Physical Therapy and has worked in outpatient clinics, which have a focus on musculoskeletal pain management. He's currently working on a large research study, which is called the AIM-back program. This is a collaborative effort between Duke University and the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs. He's also a PhD student in Health Sciences.
In this episode, we discuss the benefits of screening for psychological factors or what we call “yellow flags” in chronic pain management. What types of screening tools can you use? Self-report measures that you can use in your practice. As physical medicine professionals, should we be screening for suicidality? If we do have a positive screening, how do we approach that? How do we follow through with that? Finally, the barriers to implementing and screening psychological factors in clinical practice. I want to thank Zachary for joining me on this episode.
If you're a clinician, this is a content-rich episode where we go deep into how to screen for psychological factors, which are important. We also touch on the topic of suicidality. We have a little bit of a healthy discussion on, “Should we be screening for suicide and what do we do after we screen for suicide?” Zachary also just finished writing a paper in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. I did mention that at the beginning of the episode. It's great. It's really useful and it would help you. Without further ado, let's begin and let's meet physical therapist, Zachary Stearns.
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