Pain Assessment Scale Reliable and Valid Measurement
More than 20 percent of people in the United States, age 35 years or older, have complained of chronic knee pain. Many complain of multiple sites, making musculoskeletal pain a common complaint. On the other hand, many who don't have or complain of pain do have osteoarthritis but they don't know it, while yet others have minor disability but experience and complain of severe pain.
Because of the perceived differences in pain, proper assessment is needed in order to provide adequate care for each individual. The authors of this article describe the development and validation of a multidimensional assessment tool called the Pain Standard Evaluation Questionnaire (SEQ Pain). the SEQ Pain was developed to aid in assessing pain location, pain intensity, pain during activity, pain triggers, onset and frequency.
To formulate the questionnaire, researchers selected 10 questionnaires currently in use for assessing musculoskeletal pain. Using these questionnaires, an expert panel (one rheumatologist, two orthopedic surgeons, and one clinical epidemiologist) evaluated the questions, coming up with 18 items that they felt were necessary for the initial PSEQ.
These new questionnaires were sent out to patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain and a second was sent out to a certain number of patients, in order to test for reliability.
Because the questionnaire was meant for the general public, the questions were not specific as to a specific joint, for example. Instead, the questions focused on what types of activities caused the pain in what part or region of the body.
The questionnaire was added on until the final version was approved. Using three subscales, the respondents indicated which regions of the body were most affected: back and neck, upper extremities, or lower extremities.The researchers found that leaving 11 days between the first test and the second was too long because of the possible coming and going of acute pain episodes and changes in pain intensity. That being said, the authors did feel that the test reliability was high for the extremities (upper and lower) but not with the chest and stomach.
The researchers found that the final version of the SEQ Pain, with 28 items, was a reliable and valid method of assessing musculoskeletal pain.
Urs Muller et al. A Pain assessment scale for population-based studies: Development and validation of the Pain Module of the Standard Evaluation Questionnaire. In Pain. May 2008. Vol. 136. No. 1-2. Pp. 72-74.
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