A US study has identified optimal cutoffs for the definition of pain among individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS).
Importantly, the empirically based cutoffs for classifying pain appear to be lower in patients with MS than individuals with other illnesses.
The researchers, led by Kevin Alschuler (University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle), say the use of the cutoffs will help physicians make clinical decisions.
"Clinicians are encouraged to use a lower threshold for determining that a patient with MS is experiencing clinically significant pain relative to patients with other medical conditions," state the researchers in Pain Medicine.
Pain intensity is typically measured using numerical rating scales in many clinical settings. However, treatment guidelines, including those from the World Health Organization, rate pain as mild, moderate, or severe. With these descriptive rating scales, however, it is difficult to define pain easily so as to classify patients into one of the three categories.
As a result, it can be difficult to "determine when patients are experiencing the level of pain specified in treatment guidelines," note the researchers.... Read More - http://www.msrc.co.uk/index.cfm/fuseact ... ageid/1896