Lauren Necesario Smith, PsyD, HSPP
Psychotherapy + Testing + Consultation
SO, YOU WERE TOLD YOU NEED A PSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATION BEFORE YOU CAN GET YOUR IMPLANTATION DEVICE
THIS IS COMPLETELY NORMAL! NO, YOU ARE NOT CRAZY.
Having to deal with chronic pain can be tough enough. But now, add in having to be referred to a psychologist for a psych eval before you can get your pain pump or your spinal cord stimulator? Ugh! But, you are not being singled out. It is actually required by Medicare that patients are evaluated by a psychologist prior to having their surgery. The evaluation typically consists of a conversation (or interview) with a psychologist in which they gather some information of your general medical and mental health history. You will also be asked to fill out some questionnaires and other tests that will ask you about your pain, your day-to-day functioning, beliefs about your pain, how you manage your mood, and other treatment goals you may have. Lastly, the psychologist will compile all of this information into a report and provide some general mental health recommendations.