The clinical assessment of chronic pain in rheumatic disease: evaluating the use of two instruments


Gail Coiner Davis, 2007 Locksley Lane, Denton, Texas 76201, USA.


Health care professionals are becoming increasingly aware of the complex nature of chronic pain Measurement instruments are needed which will assist in better understanding the patient's response to the pain The McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ) and an expanded version useful in comprehensive clinical assessment, the McGill Comprehensive Pain Questionnaire (MCPQ), are currently-available tools for assessing chronic pain The major purposes of this study were to test the discriminant and concurrent validity of the MPQ and to describe the major responses of the person with rheumatic disease to chronic pain using both instruments Two sample groups were used (1) 30 patients with chronic pain related to rheumatic disease, and (2) 30 patients with acute pain related to a surgical procedure The MPQ's Affective Subscale discriminated between acute and chronic pain, and its Present Pain Intensity (PPI) Scale correlated moderately with the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), another commonly-used scale for measuring pain intensity While the MCPQ was useful in describing the patient's response to chronic pain, administrationwas time-consuming, and its openended format makes validity and reliabilitytesting impossible The information gained through the use of the MCPQ was helpful in determining what living with chronic pain means to the individualSuch information should be useful in the future development of a valid and reliable instrument for more efficiently measuring the chronic pain experience Such an instrument would be useful in coordination with the MPQ which focuses on pain description