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Early Intervention Pain Questionnaire & FLAG-DR™ Scoring

A groundbreaking tool to expedite return-to-work

Returning to work after suffering a work-related injury is particularly challenging for an employee who is hindered by persistent chronic pain. While there are varying degrees and different types of chronic pain, the origin of pain may complicate the patient’s condition, impacting his or her mood, ability to function and timely return-to-work. That’s why proven screening tools and intervention techniques are needed to identify, classify and manage employees at risk for delayed recovery.

ASSESSMENT Pinpoints high-risk CASES EARLY



of workers’ comp COSTS

Flag-DR color logoQuickly identify high-risk cases

IMCS’s expertise in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is fundamental to the success of its Early Intervention Program. The first step in the program involves the Early Intervention Pain Questionnaire (EIPQ) and FLAG-DR™ scoring algorithm, which takes approximately six minutes to administer and yields predictive analysis with 95% accuracy. The EIPQ and FLAG-DR™ quickly identifies cases at high-risk for delayed recovery due to behavioral and emotional factors.

Preventing languishing pain and delayed recovery

The 10-question EIPQ and FLAG-DR™ scoring algorithm examine the patient’s cognitive, attitudinal, affective and psychosocial history, beliefs and perceptions—all of which can accurately predict the likely duration of the Injury-to-Chronic-Pain cycle. The EIPQ can be administered as early as two weeks post injury which enables early intervention in as many as 50% of the long-term and costly claims.

The psychosocial connection

The EIPQ test and FLAG-DR™ test pain attitudes, propensity for catastrophizing, behavioral response to pain and more. Simple to administer, this breakthrough screening tool reliably predicts* HIGH, MEDIUM or LOW risk of time loss, medical spend and impaired patient function. Examples of questions include:

  • How would you rate the pain you have had during the past week?
  • In your view, how large is the risk that your current pain may become permanent?
  • Is an increase in pain an indication that I should stop what I’m doing until the pain decreases?

Flag-DR LogoTime to break the chronic pain chain

In the normal course of healing and recuperation, patients identified as high-risk for delayed recovery are in danger of perpetuating and escalating the pain and disability. The correlation between psychosocial attitudes and recovery are represented in the chart below.

Escalating workers’ compensation costs correlate to the patient’s risk level as identified by the EIPQ and FLAG-DR™. A 2015 study correlated psychosocial risk groups to actual workers’ compensation payouts, confirming the predictive insights and costs-savings that the EIPQ and FLAG-DR™ can yield.

Everyone wins with early return-to-work

EMPLOYEES: The longer an injured worker is away from work, the harder it becomes to return. The goal of the IMCS early intervention program is to help injured workers return to their jobs as quickly as possible, even if they can’t perform at full capacity. Accommodation studies show that injured employees who return to work are more productive and experience a renewed sense of purpose.

EMPLOYERS: Faster return-to-work not only reduces medical expenses and workers’ compensation claims, future premiums and costs, the Early Intervention Program means less business disruption and downtime while reducing employer costs for temporary help.

INSURERS: The shorter the claim duration, the less worker’s compensation insurers have to pay for medical costs and replacement wages.

Maximum benefit with minimal intervention

Early identification and treatment of patients at-risk for delayed recovery, who participate in the IMCS early intervention program has demonstrated remarkable outcomes. Our proven expertise in CBT helps prevent at-risk employees from becoming perpetual workers’ compensation claimants. Consisting of 4 — 8 sessions, a typical CBT intervention has demonstrated up to a 50% reduction in total claim costs.


For more information on the IMCS EIPQ