Illness perception is defined as the cognitive representations or beliefs that patients have about their illness. It basically means that how you perceive your illness has an influence on the way you think, what you believe is possible, and perhaps most importantly, what you do moving forward. Physiotherapist Edwin de Raaij recently completed a systematic review called the Association of Illness Perception and Prognosis for Pain and Physical Function in Patients with Non-Cancer Musculoskeletal Pain. This is an important topic because illness perceptions have been associated with pain intensity as well as physical function in individuals with all types of musculoskeletal pain. Illness perception is a large part of Edwin’s current doctoral work. He dives into this important topic and shares a tool that he uses with his patients to help them understand pain.
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