General Considerations Concerning Pain Measurement

All methods of pain measurement share a common goal of accurately representing the human pain experience. Threshold measures of pain sensitivity are limited in that they do not assess changes in pain sensitivity that may occur over a wide range of noxious stimulus intensities. Although it is recognized that multiple methods of sensory testing are useful, including threshold and discrimination measures, this chapter will focus on direct scaling methods because they have the capacity to assess a wide range of responses to threshold and supra-threshold intensities, a characteristic that is most relevant to clinical pain assessment.

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