PCSS/AAPM Free CME Webinar:

A Shifting Paradigm: From Biomedical to Biopsychosocial Interactions

Access a free video recording of this CME-eligible webinar

Requires log-in and the completion of pre-test.

Original Presentation Date: August 22, 2017


The biopsychosocial model describes chronic pain as a complex, dynamic interplay among biological, psychological, and social factors. In contrast to the biomedical model on which clinical practice is largely based, this model shifts the emphasis from pathophysiology to include the multidimensional array of interacting forces that influence an individual’s experience of chronic pain. Providers should acknowledge the impact of psychosocial factors on the pain experience and treatment outcomes, and recognize the limitations of a purely biomedical focus. Effective pain management requires an integrated, multimodal, biobehavioral approach. Introducing evidence-based biopsychosocial care to patients early in the management of chronic pain can reduce distress and symptoms. The goal is to change patients’ relationship to pain, shift the focus from pain to quality of life, shift their locus of control, and encourage patients’ active role in their care. The language used by providers can change the conversation with patients at each visit to promote biopsychosocial interactions. However, the importance of psychosocial variables is often underestimated and misunderstood by patients and providers, despite the evidence supporting their relationship to the pain experience.

Learning Objectives:

After participating in this activity, participants will be better able to:

  1. Describe the critical interaction between biopsychosocial factors in the manifestation, maintenance, and treatment of chronic pain
  2. Identify at least two ways to discuss the biopsychosocial approach with patients so that they appreciate the complex interplay of psychosocial variables in the pain experience


Jeannie A. Sperry, PhD, LP, ABPP Jeannie A. Sperry, PhD, LP, ABPP
Division of Addictions, Transplant, and Pain,
Department of Psychiatry and Psychology,
Mayo Clinic
Assistant Professor,
Mayo Clinic School of Medicine,
Rochester, Minnesota

Jeannie A. Sperry, PhD, LP, ABPP, is board certified in Clinical Health Psychology, specializing in chronic pain. She completed her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. For more than two decades, Dr. Sperry has worked in academic settings training health care providers in the interdisciplinary care of chronic pain, opioid risk reduction, and prevention of pain-related disability. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Mayo Clinic School of Medicine, and serves as Co-Chair of Addictions, Transplant, and Pain, and is a Consultant in the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Within the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, Dr. Sperry works in the Pain Rehabilitation Center where patients are tapered off of opioids and instructed in self-management techniques for chronic pain. Her research interests focus on communication skills for physicians and evidence-based practices for chronic pain. She has been co-investigator on several federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grants involving medical education curriculum, interprofessional education in medical settings, and teaching team-based care of underserved populations.

Continuing Education: The American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) provides a live webinar titled “A Shifting Paradigm: From Biomedical to Biopsychosocial Interactions” and offers continuing medical education (CME) for physicians. Successful completion requires that participants register for the webinar and complete a pre-test, attend and participate, and complete an online post-test and evaluation. Participants receive their CME certificates after they submit their evaluations online.

Accreditation: The American Academy of Pain Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Credit Designation: The American Academy of Pain Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Learn more about the 2017 PCSS/AAPM webinar series.

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