Spinal Cord Pre-Surgical & Pain Evaluations

Psychological pain evaluations assist physicians in understanding a patient’s potential to benefit from:

  • Spinal cord stimulator trial
  • Pain medication
  • Spinal surgery
  • Pain management procedures

Why do I have to have a psychological evaluation?

Pain and injury cause significant changes in your life and influence the effectiveness of your pain management plan or the outcome of a surgery. A psychological pain evaluation will help determine if you are ready for spinal surgery or treatment procedures, and what type of preparation might help to improve your results. It helps your doctor to develop the most effective treatment plan based on your individual needs.

What will the evaluation involve?

The psychological evaluation consists of two paper-and-pencil tests, questionnaires, a computerized psychological test, and an interview. The tests will help the psychologist learn about you as a person. During the interview, you will be asked about many aspects of your life, including information about your past, your present situation, and your future goals.

Can I fail the test?

The tests that you will be asked to complete are not pass-fail tests and there is no preparation necessary prior to taking the test. The testing helps the psychologist identify your strengths and areas that need to be addressed prior to or following surgery such as medication regimens, or other treatments as specified by your pain management physician.

  • A psychological evaluation involves an interview and psychological testing by a neuropsychologist or health psychologist.
  • Your doctor understands that you have a legitimate injury and that your pain is real.
  • A psychological evaluation allows you the opportunity to discuss any concerns about medicine, treatment, or surgery.
  • Psychological evaluations are supportive. They provide an opportunity to discuss emotional, marital, occupational, or other issues related to pain or injury.

Who will get the psychologist’s report?

Our office will send a copy of your report to your pain management physician. We will let your physician know when you have scheduled the evaluation if you kept the appointment, and when they can expect the report. Your insurance company will receive a copy of the evaluation from your physician if this is required for authorization for surgery. You may also request that a copy be sent to your primary care physician or other health care providers.

How do I make an appointment?

Please call to request an appointment for a psychological pain management evaluation with Dr. Kristine Keane at (732) 920-3434. Our staff will assist you with your health care insurance prior to your appointment.

How long will the evaluation take?

The evaluation can usually be completed in 1 ½ to 2 hours. You will first complete the testing, which can take from 30-45 minutes; then you will be seen by the psychologist for an interview that usually takes 45-50 minutes.

Will my insurance cover the cost of the evaluation?

Many insurance companies will cover part or all the cost of the evaluation. Prior to the time of the evaluation, we will provide you with your insurance information and will later process your claim.

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