A PATIENT’S GUIDE TO MATRIX REHABILITATION SERVICES
This Guide is meant as a general introduction to our service from the patient’s perspective. Each patient and their circumstances are unique. Not everything here may apply to you. Please direct your questions to our staff by phone at (514) 931-1300 or, if you are calling outside of Montreal, by using our toll-free number 1-866-931-1301.
What is Matrix Rehabilitation Services?
Matrix Rehabilitation Services is a multidisciplinary private practice that provides a variety of health care services. We serve a broad spectrum of patients, but we specialize in complex and difficult health care problems that usually require the expertise of a number of different health care disciplines. The health care professionals involved are affiliated with university medical faculties and major hospitals. They are regulated by their respective Colleges as are any other physicians, psychologists or other regulated health care professionals in private practice.
What kinds of patients does Matrix see?
Most often we see patients with significant and prolonged disabilities and health problems. This includes individuals with such difficulties as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain Syndromes and other patients with complex health problems.
Why are people sent to Matrix?
Patients are referred to Matrix for a variety of reasons, and you should inquire of the individual(s) referring you as to exactly why you have been referred.
In some cases your doctors may be having difficulty understanding the complexities of your case or establishing a definitive diagnosis.
In other cases a third party, such as an employer, insurer or lawyer, may ask for a detailed assessment of what you can and cannot do, perhaps as it relates to employment; and to identify the specific factors that have resulted in your disability.
Most often, we are asked to thoroughly assess someone to see if we may be able to offer assistance or treatment to help that person function better. In many cases we are able, following a detailed assessment, to provide treatment that is of significant help.
Who will I see?
When the initial appointment is made, you will receive a letter from Matrix Rehabilitation Services that identifies the specific professionals you will see and what their roles are.
Most patients are interviewed by a general internist (a physician with a specialty in internal medicine); a psychiatrist; a psychologist; and a field consultant (a therapist with a background in kinesiology, behavioral sciences, or psychology). There may be other health care professionals involved in a particular case.
What kinds of questions will I be asked?
The precise questions you will be asked depend upon your particular difficulties, and what the assessment questions are that we are trying to answer.
Typically, we will review the nature of your current difficulties; the history of those difficulties; how they started; how they may have changed over time; and how these difficulties have impacted on your life, including your ability to work, your family, your recreational and personal life.
We will also ask about you as a person. This helps us to understand how you were before your illness, the unique ways in which you have been affected and about things in your history that may have influenced exactly how you have been affected. It is as important to understand the person who has an illness, as it is to understand the illness itself.
May I bring along my spouse or partner or friend?
We encourage the participation of other family members and friends. Often they can help us better understand how you have been affected, as well as provide you with support.
Is there just one interview?
No, not usually. Most assessments involve a number of elements that require more than one interview. You may be seen first for your assessment at our office, and then the psychologist and field consultant will see you at your home. In some cases, we may begin with an interview at your home, followed by an appointment in our offices.
Why does an assessment take so long?
The cases we see are often very complex. We need to thoroughly assess how you are functioning now; physically, emotionally, and cognitively. We need to gather all of your background medical information, so we know what tests and investigations have already been done. It is helpful to read, from your doctors’ reports, just how you presented on each occasion, and what findings were noted on physical examination.
Sometimes we may ask to speak to and visit your workplace so that we know exactly what the demands of your work are, or were; how your illness may have affected your work performance; or whether anything about your work might have contributed to your difficulties.
Often we will arrange additional medical, physical, cognitive or psychological testing to help us better assess you. A full assessment may take 4 to 6 weeks to complete.
Are you working for me or for my insurance company (or employer or other third party)?
Often patients are referred to us by a third party, such as an employer or insurer, for an assessment. Our obligation to the third party who referred you is to answer the questions they have posed as accurately and as completely as we can.
Our obligation to you is to complete our assessment and render our opinions in an ethical, competent manner, free from bias, and consistent with all professional standards. We are always accountable to you through the various professional bodies and legislation that govern our conduct, including the College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the College of Psychologists.
Will I be told the results or get a copy of the report?
This depends upon the circumstances under which you are referred. In most cases, even when an insurer or employer has made a referral, we can provide your doctors with a copy of our report (with your consent). We will meet you to review the report and give you feedback about our findings. In many cases we can give you a copy of the actual report, providing if we feel that the information it contains will not be derogatory.
In some cases we are asked to provide a “defence medical” or “independent medical examination” to a third party. In such cases we cannot provide you with a copy of our report, or give you direct feedback. However, if this is the case you will be told of this ahead of time.
You should make sure you understand which type of disclosure applies to you, when you start an assessment.
Will you be treating me and what would treatment consist of?
The first step is always a complete assessment. This is not treatment. We cannot anticipate what treatment recommendations (if any) we may make until we have completed a full assessment. Every case is different.
If we do propose some form of treatment, this will be thoroughly discussed with you before starting any treatment. Our recommendations will also be made available to your doctors for their review, prior to starting treatment (with your consent).
What if I do not wish to participate in some or all of the assessment or proposed treatment?
We will only proceed with any component of assessment or treatment with your clear consent. If you wish to decline a certain component of an assessment, we will explain what that component is designed to tell us, and how proceeding without it may affect our ability to answer the questions we are trying to answer. We will likely need to inform whoever referred you of this as well. In some cases we may feel that omitting or altering a component will result in an invalid assessment, and we may decline to proceed with such a restriction.
It is sometimes the case that a refusal to participate could affect any disability benefits you may be receiving, or your access to employment, if your insurer or employer is involved in the referral. In these, and in medical-legal situations, you may have certain contractual obligations. These should always be discussed with such third parties prior to making a final decision. We can help facilitate such a discussion, if you wish.