Research shows again and again that physiotherapists spend most of their time and attention to biomedical aspects, and that other factors keep getting overlooked. Luckily, if you (secretly) recognise this a little, this can be easily overcome with thanks to the used questionnaires: Pain Catastrophising Scale (PCS), the Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia (TSK) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS).
Before you ask your patients to fill in these questionnaires to complete your anamnesis (in your presence or at home), it is, ofcourse, wise to give at least some education about the intertwining between body and mind, and to appoint that you as a physiotherapist want to focus on the whole person. For some people this might take some getting used to, and of course no one is obligated to fill in the questionnaires. The fear of mapping psychosocial aspects, however, lies more often with the practitioner than with the patient.
Most patients are grateful for a true biopsychosocial approach when you explain the outcomes of the questionnaires in adjunct to the biomedical explanation, because people feel heard and seen in all aspects of being human. Often, this even causes a form of relief: ‘From myself, I don’t talk about this easily, but now that it is asked so explicitly…’ If the outcomes give reason for it, you can advise the patient to ask for consultation with the general practitioner to discuss this. You can also ask for permission to share the outcomes in your report to the general practitioner.