Measuring Pain Intensity in People with Chronic Pain

Individuals living with various chronic health conditions (e.g., back pain, osteoarthritis, and diabetic neuropathy) often experience chronic pain. People with chronic pain are often asked to rate how much they hurt on a scale of 0 (no pain) to 10 (pain as bad as you can imagine). In this study we trained individuals living with chronic pain on how to rate their pain in order to improve the consistency of their responses. 224 participants participated in a training program and the study that measured their pain daily for 21 consecutive days.  Findings from this project indicated that people who received training did not report pain intensity more consistently compared those who received no training. Findings from this study indicate that, even with additional training, pain intensity may be too complex to report consistently using the 0-10 numerical rating system.