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Comorbid Pain Disorders 

Comorbid Pain Disorders
Comorbid Pain Disorders

Jordan F. Karp

and Jonathan McGovern

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date: 18 October 2021

Painful conditions in late-life are frequent and often comorbid with affective disorders, anxiety, and insomnia. Psychiatrists and geriatric mental health clinicians must be familiar with common pain disorders, the pathophysiology of chronic pain, and the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of common pain conditions when comorbid with psychiatric syndromes. This is particularly important for older adults with dementing disorders and other conditions which impair communication about internal states. In addition to pharmacologic treatments, psychosocial interventions like cognitive behavioral therapy play a significant role in the treatment of chronic pain, especially when the pain is comorbid with depression and anxiety. Geriatric mental health clinicians should engage rehabilitation specialists like physical and occupational therapy in planning treatment for these complex patients.

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