Pre-surgical Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) Trial Psychological Evaluation

Pre-surgical Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) Trial Psychological Evaluation

What is a psychological evaluation for pre-surgical spinal cord stimulation trial?

A psychological examination is required prior undergoing surgery to identify if you are an optimal candidate who will obtain full benefit from the device implanted.  Typically, the process involves a trial of SCS before the physician makes the decision to permanently implant the SCS.

Why the need of a psychological screening or evaluation?

The effectiveness of the SCS can be affected by psychological disorders and even cognitive difficulties. Therefore, a psychological screening or evaluation is required. The psychological assessment helps identify thinking, behavioral, emotional, and social problems that could influence your chronic pain. If psychological problems are identified the treatment is tailored to the specific issues identified. 

What to expect in the interview process? The process of the evaluation includes a psychological interview and formal testing of cognitive functions, psychological adjustment, personality characteristics, pain experience and behavior associated with it, understanding of the surgery process, and expectations of the procedure. The process typically involves about 1-hour clinical interview and 1 to 3 hours of testing in one appointment. A written report will be sent to your surgeon.