Robert J Gatchel
University of Texas, Arlington, USA
Keynote: Prim Health Care
In 2011, the influential Institute of Medicine (IOM) Report, Relieving Pain in America, highlighted the urgent need for the development of better methods for pain management because the ever-increasing costs with current treatment approaches cannot be sustained. Chronic pain is more common than the total number of individuals with diabetes, heart disease, and cancer combined! Musculoskeletal pain is the most common type of chronic pain; chronic low back pain is the most prevalent in this category. A lesser-known fact is that temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder (TMJMD) is also very prevalent, and ranks second only to low back pain. Treatment costs of TMJMD average $4 billion annually. The current presentation will review a number of NIH-supported clinical research studies on the early identification and intervention of ‚??high risk‚?Ě (HR) TMJMD patients that prevent the development of more chronic and costly disease states. During this presentation, four separate projects will be presented. The first will be a statistical algorithm that was developed to differentiate between acute TMJMD patients who were either at HR versus low-risk (LR) for developing chronic TMJMD problems. Drawing from these results, the second project evaluated whether an early biopsychosocial intervention program with HR patients would produce lower levels of pain at a one-year follow-up, relative to HR patients not receiving such care. The outcome data from that study revealed significantly more positive changes in the HR early-intervention group that in the HR non-intervention group. Finally, a justcompleted study evaluated whether this early assessment and early intervention could be successfully utilized in the ‚??real world‚?Ě of dental clinics in the community. Again, the results were very clear in demonstrating that acute TMJMD patients who were administered early intervention showed significantly less chronic TMJMD disease indicators. This results clearly demonstrate that such an assessment/intervention program can be successfully employed with the general population in individual clinics.
Robert J Gatchel received his BA in Psychology, Summa Cum Laude, from SUNY at Stony Brook, and his PhD in Clinical Psychology in 1973 from the University of Wisconsin. He is also a Diplomate of the American Board of Professional Psychology. At the University of Texas at Arlington, Dr Gatchel is currently: A Distinguished Professor of the Department of Psychology, College of Science; the Nancy P & John G Penson Endowed Professor of Clinical Health Psychology; and the Director of the Center of Excellence for the Study of Health & Chronic Illnesses. He has conducted extensive clinical research in the area of pain, much of it continuously funded for the past 35 years by grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation, and the Department of Defense. He was also the recipient of a prestigious Senior Scientist Award from NIH. Dr Gatchel has received numerous national and international awards associated with his research, most recently, the 2017 American Psychological Foundation’s Gold Medal Award for Life Achievement in the Application of Psychology.