Test–retest reliability of pain drawings
Patient drawings (PDs) are commonly used in clinical practice and experimental pain studies to asses the location and extend of pain, by colouring a body chart on a template representing the human body. The aim of this study is to present a method for obtaining and quantifying the extend and location of pain in patients with chronic neck pain (CNP) and chronic low back pain (CLBP).
Fifty-one patients with CLBP and fifty-six patients with CNP participated using a digital tabled to shade two PDs, twenty minutes apart. Software was developed to assess the pain extent, pain overlap and to produce pain frequency maps. The results show a high test-retest reliability of patients in reporting pain extends and pain location by examining two PDs. Moreover, correlations were observed between PD variables and clinical features such as pain intensity (VAS) in both groups and pain-related disability (RMDQ) in people with CNP.
The approach presented in this study could be useful to estimate pain changes during or between treatment sessions and following experimental induced pain. Future research is warranted to inform on the clinical relevance of pain extent and to evaluate other psychometric properties of PD.
> From: Barbero et al., Eur J Pain (2015) (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to European Pain Federation - EFIC. Click here for the Pubmed summary.