Credentials Display

John V. Rider, PhD, OTR/L, MSCS, CEAS

Monica C. Tay, OTD-S, BA


Background: Chronic pain can significantly disrupt occupational engagement through physical, psychological, and social domains. Because pain is a subjective experience influenced by numerous factors, it has the capacity to become increasingly complex. Evidence supports addressing chronic pain through a biopsychosocial approach and promoting health and well-being through occupational engagement.

Method: This case report describes the implementation of psychosocial and occupation-focused assessments and interventions for a 68-year-old client with chronic pain and increased symptoms of depression, anxiety, and pain catastrophizing. The use of an occupation-focused time-use assessment (Occupational Experience Profile), psychosocial assessments, and pain assessments guided intervention development. Occupational therapy intervention consisted of evidence-based approaches to address well-being and the pain experience through motivational interviewing, acceptance and commitment therapy, therapeutic exercises, pain neuroscience education, and graded exposure to occupational engagement.

Results: The client demonstrated significant progress, and although pain was still present at discharge, he had met all client-directed goals. Outcome measures at discharge indicated improvements in depression, anxiety, catastrophizing thoughts about pain, and occupational engagement.

Conclusion: Using a biopsychosocial approach, occupational therapists can incorporate psychosocial and occupation-focused assessments and interventions to increase quality of life and occupational engagement, improve overall well-being, and support clients in living well with chronic pain.


The authors declare that they have no competing financial, professional, or personal interest that might have influenced the performance or presentation of the work described in this manuscript.