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Assignment

December 14, 2020

1. Provide an example of how the psychological pre-surgical preparation of a patient can dramatically influencepost-surgical pain and recovery. Describe the possible physiological mechanisms though which the psychologicalpreparation of a patient prior to surgery has its effects on post-surgical pain, post-surgical medicationrequirements, and speed of wound healing.

2. Describe a positive-feedback loop whereby post-surgical pain and activation of the neurohormonal stress axesinteract with one another and lead to increase pain/suffering, slower wound healing, and medical complications.Answers need to include the specific stress axes, active physiological processes, and the approximate brainstructures involved in this feedback loop. As a hospital’s staff Health Psychologist, what would you propose toreduce the likelihood of such positive-feedback scenarios at your facility?

 

3.Psychologists and other behavioral medicine specialists are often the “providers of last resort” in the treatment of chronic illnesses. Do you think this is appropriate? Describe a situation in which it might be acceptable or even desirable that behavioral medicine interventions be the last-ditch solution, and one in which the trajectory of illness might have been very different had behavioral medicine been included earlier.