Pain Assessment in Patients: Will Objectifying Pain Ever Be Possible?

Grace S. Y. Chan


Current methods of assessing pain in patients include standardized questionnaires, numeric scales, and face scales. New methods of quantifying nociception are on the horizon, stemming from the discovery that numerous molecular markers of nociception correlate well with the many parameters of pain. However, it is questionable whether or not these techniques can eventually replace current methods of pain evaluation in patients. This commentary argues for the merit of pain scales and questionnaires in assessing the multidimensional phenomenon of pain even if the quantification of nociception, currently done primarily in animal studies, should someday be made feasible in humans.

KEYWORDS: pain; assessment; evaluation; nociception; measurement

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Chan GSY. Pain Assessment in Patients: Will Objectifying Pain Ever Be Possible? UBCMJ. 2011 3(2):43-44.