In a study that appears in the October issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine, they evaluate the usefulness of a scale that asks patients in primary care to rate their current pain from 0 (no pain) to 10 (worst pain).
Universal pain screening is an increasingly common practice, largely because of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization’s requirement that accredited hospitals and clinics routinely assess all patients for pain. JCAHO is the nation’s predominant standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.
“Our study is the first to evaluate the accuracy of the widely-used numeric rating scale [NRS] as a screening test to identify primary care patients with clinically important pain. Accurate screening is important because pain symptoms, both serious and not so serious, are among the most common complaints in primary care,” said Erin E. Krebs, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of medicine at the IU School of Medicine and a Regenstrief Institute research scientist. “To be helpful, a screening test needs to provide accurate information that doctors can use to improve care. If a test isn’t very accurate or useful, doctors learn to tune out the numbers.”
The authors found that, while the NRS is easy to administer, it fails to identify about a third of patients with pain serious enough to impair day-to-day functioning. Most patients in this study had long-standing pain, and many had more than one pain problem. The authors did not evaluate the accuracy of pain ratings in settings where short-term pain is more common, such as after surgery. The researchers noted that because it focuses on current pain, the NRS may miss intermittent symptoms. They also reported that “pain” was not the preferred word for some patients. For example, one study participant indicated that he felt discomfort, but not pain.
“Universal pain screening has become widespread despite a lack of research evaluating its accuracy and effectiveness. We know that pain is a serious problem in primary care, but pain screening may not be the best way to address this problem,” said Dr. Krebs, who is also with the Center on Implementing Evidence-based Practice at the Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Indianapolis.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded the study.
Cindy Fox Aisen | EurekAlert!
Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Rabies viruses reveal wiring in transparent brains
19.01.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences