Review Article

The measurement of pain - A brief review

C. A. Liggins
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 38, No 2 | a925 | DOI: | © 2018 C. A. Liggins | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 October 2018 | Published: 30 June 1982

About the author(s)

C. A. Liggins, Sub-Department of Physiotherapy, University of Durban-Westville, South Africa

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Physiotherapists are now measuring pain when they assess their patients. Pain has been considered to be unmeasurable by some, but a number of subjective and objective methods have been devised. Subjective methods appear to be more satisfactory than objective methods. Several methods of subjective measurement are reviewed. Studies suggest that the Numerical Rating Scale (N.R.S.) may be an appropriate subjective scale for general use. Several methods of measuring pain relief are also reviewed. Patients tend to express themselves more in terms of pain relief than in terms of pain measurement. The principles of the Signal Detection Theory for quantification of pain are outlined.


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Crossref Citations

1. The assessment of pain: an audit of physiotherapy practice
Patricia Turner, Allan Whitfield, Samantha Brewster, Michelle Halligan, Judith Kennedy
Australian Journal of Physiotherapy  vol: 42  issue: 1  first page: 55  year: 1996  
doi: 10.1016/S0004-9514(14)60441-4