Multiple Dimension Surveys

In comparison to the simplistic, quick, and easy NRS and VAS surveys, multidimensional surveys like the McGill Pain Questionnaire and the Brief Pain Inventory Questionnaire provide more complete information about a patient's underlying pain. These questionnaires are more useful in the chronic pain population than in patients with pain of acute onset.

The McGill Pain Questionnaire utilizes three different components to assess a patient's pain. The first part consists of a drawing of both the front and back of a human body, which the patient marks to indicate where they are experiencing pain. The second part is a six-word verbal descriptive scale that patients use to record their current pain intensity. The final part consists of 20 sets of adjectives that the patient selects to describe the sensory, affective, and evaluative qualities of his/her pain. Though the questionnaire has the disadvantage of being time-consuming, the McGill Pain Questionnaire is highly reliable and consistent, allowing for the differentiation of pain syndromes and the discrimination of the therapies effect on a patient's pain.

The Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) questionnaire asks patients to mark the location of their pain on a drawing of the front and back of a human body. Patients also fill out 11 different NRS surveys that assess their pain intensity and activities of daily living. Like the McGill Pain Questionnaire, the BPI provides an excellent tool to monitor the effect of pain or the treatment of pain over time, but has the disadvantage of being time-consuming to complete.

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