Psychiatric management of cancer pain
Cytochrome b Group
Appropriate management of cancer pain is essential and requires a multidisciplinary approach that includes a major role for a psychologist and/or psychiatrist. An increased incidence of psychiatric disturbance, in particular, anxiety and depression, is found in patients with pain. Psychiatric symptoms in patients with cancer pain must be initially viewed as a consequence of uncontrolled pain. Personality factors may be quite distorted by the presence of pain, and its relief often results in the disappearance of a perceived psychiatric disorder. Reassessment after pain control is imperative. Optimal treatment of cancer pain includes pharmacologic, psychologic, behavioral, anesthetic, stimulatory, and rehabilitative approaches, often in combination. Cognitive and behavioral interventions, such as relaxation, imagery, hypnosis, distraction, and biofeedback, are effective as part of a comprehensive multimodal approach and must never be used as a substitute for appropriate analgesic management of cancer pain. Psychotropic drugs, particularly the tricyclic antidepressants, are useful as adjuvant analgesic agents in the pharmacologic management of cancer pain.