Measuring Pain

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Measuring Pain 1. 1. Sensory - intensity, duration, threshold, tolerance, location, etc

2. 2. Neurophysiological - brainwave activity, heart rate, etc

3. 3. Emotional and motivational - anxiety, anger, depression, resentment, etc

4. 4. Behavioural - avoidance of exercise, pain complaints, etc

5. 5. Impact on lifestyle - marital distress, changes in sexual behaviour

6. 6. Information processing - problem solving skills, coping styles, health beliefs

Techniques used to collect data. --------------------------------

1. 1. interviews - advantage - it can cover Karoly's 6 points

2. 2. behavioural
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One way to assess pain behaviours is to observe them in a clinical setting (although pain is also assessed in a natural setting as the patient goes about his or her everyday activities). Keefe and Williams (1992) have identified five elements that need to be considered when preparing to assess any form of behaviour through this type of observation.

• A rationale for observation: it is important for clinicians to know why they are observing pain behaviours. One reason is to identify ‘problem’ behaviours that the patient may be reluctant to report, such as pain when swallowing, so that treatment can be given. Another is to monitor the progress of a course of treatment.

• A method for sampling pain behaviour techniques for sampling and recording behaviour include continuous observation, measuring duration (how long the patient takes to complete a task), frequency counts (the number of times a target behaviour occurs) and time sampling (for example, observing the patient for five minutes every hour).

• Definitions of the behaviour: observers need to be completely clear as to what behaviours they are looking for.

• Observer training: in most clinical situations, there will be different observers at different times and it is important that they are consistent.

• Reliability and validity: the most useful
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