New guidelines for measuring pain in patients with rheumatic conditions recommend that clinicians use the Numeric Rating Scale for Pain (NRS Pain) for estimating patients' pain intensity and the Short Form-36 Bodily Pain Scale (SF-36 BPS) for evaluating pain in the context of overall health status, says an article by Medscape Medical News based on a review published online last month in Arthritis Care & Research.
The review, part of the journal's special issue titled "Patient Outcomes in Rheumatology, 2011," includes the Visual Analog Scale for Pain (VAS Pain), NRS Pain, McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ), Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire (SF-MPQ), Chronic Pain Grade Scale (CPGS), SF-36 BPS, and Measure of Intermittent and Constant Osteoarthritis Pain (ICOAP). Details on questionnaire content, ease of use, and measurement properties are included in the review of each questionnaire. The review also discusses the strengths and weaknesses of each questionnaire.
The authors also recommend the ICOAP for assessment of osteoarthritis-related pain.