In the original McGill Pain Questionnaire used to assess pain in chronic pain patients, there is a list of 15 verbal descriptors rated on a 4-point scale, a visual analog scale for pain intensity, and verbal rating scales. The original scale established reliability and validity for measuring pain in chronic pain conditions. Although some chronic pain conditions are neuropathic, a tool that can distinguish both the pain of a chronic no-ciceptive condition and neuropathic pain is considered desirable.
The SF-MPQwas expanded by adding in nine symptoms that were indicative of neuropathic pain, and the 4-point rating scale was replaced with a 0- to 10-point rating scale. The new symptom descriptors that were added included squeezing pressure, piercing, itching, tingling pins and needles, numbness, pain caused by light touch, cold freezing, electric shock pain, and dullness. It was hoped that the changes would make it easier to determine the type of pain that the patient was experiencing.
The researchers used a variety of testing methods that included patient focus groups, a web-based survey for patients with chronic pain, and a clinical trial for patients with PDN. A total of882 patients completed the SF-MPQ-2 pain assessment tool via the web survey, and 226 patients used the new tool in the PDN trial. In general, the SF-MPQ-2 was found to be both reliable and valid for measuring chronic pain and chronic neuropathic pain (Dworkin et al., 2009). It also has good support for four subscales in the tool that interpret continuous pain, intermittent pain, predominantly neuropathic pain, and affective descriptors (Dworkin et al.). Advantages of the SF-MPQ-2 are as follows:
■ Can be used for all types of chronic pain, short format, and easy to use
■ Use of three different methods to determine reliability and validity
■ Has reliability and validity
■ Has four subscales that interpret continuous pain, intermittent pain, pain of neuropathic origin, and affective descriptors
Disadvantages of the SF-MPQ-2 are as follows:
■ It uses a web-survey format where patients have to self-declare as patients with chronic pain, with no confirmation.
■ The patients in the focus groups were selected patients who were receiving treatment at pain centers and as a group may not represent typical patients with chronic pain.
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