An ideal starting place is a multidisciplinary team assessment to determine an individuals pain issues and recommend appropriate interventions.
A Multidisciplinary Pain Assessment involves:
- A Specialist Medical Assessment
- A Psychological Assessment, and
- A Functional Assessment
- The multidisciplinary team meet immediately following the assessment to determine common clinical formulation, goals, and recommendations
- Feedback is provided to the individual regarding the CPA findings and recommendations.
- A combined multidisciplinary summary report is completed outlining specific functional goals, priority of intervention, intervention readiness, and timeframes.
Pain contributes to activity avoidance. For individuals with persistent pain, activity avoidance can lead to body deconditioning, lower tolerance for physical activity, increased disability and ultimately reduced quality of life. Recent research has supported the view that return to activity is critical to the success of rehabilitation for individuals with persistent pain conditions.
Activity Focus Programme (AFP)
The purpose of the AFP is to assist individuals adopt a self-management approach to independent functioning both at work and home, despite pain.
The AFP is a multidisciplinary programme for individuals who have persistent pain-related disability with significant functional problems which are due to an injury and which have lasted for more than 12 weeks.
Ideally the individual will have had a Comprehensive Pain Assessment (CPA) recommending an AFP to help their rehabilitation.
The programme is delivered by a multidisciplinary team which is a combination of two or more of the following professions:
- Registered Psychologist
- Medical Practitioner
- Occupational Therapist, and
- Registered Nurse
The team provides an integrated approach to the individual’s rehabilitation and together will design an individualised programme with the individual.
The AFP comprises an individualized programme and the application of a range of pain management strategies to assist the individual return to independent functioning with a strong psychological focus to address key pain-related disability factors.
The programme will include the following components:
- Goal related activities ~graded and monitored exposure to physical activity that the individual can practice at home. This is delivered in the most appropriate environment for the individuals identified functional goals
- Behavioral Intervention and Education on pain management practices (which follow the principles of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) and will address the pain-related disability factors, and
- Self Management Component ~ Self-management training will be tailored towards the individuals needs and may include:
- Goal setting
- Activity pacing
- Problem solving
- Communication skills
- Addressing unhelpful thinking
- Relaxation, self talk and visualisations
- Skills for managing low mood and anxiety
- Flare-ups and relapse management
The programme may include an additional worksite and/or home visit component if required