Assessing pain perception using the Painmatcher® in patients with whiplash-associated disorders
Lina Bunketorp Käll, Jan Kowalski, Elisabet Stener-Victorin
Objective: To evaluate the Painmatcher®, in terms of reliability, and to explore the relationship between pain magnitude matching and pain threshold assessments in patients with whiplash-associated disorders. Also, to investigate gender differences in pain thresholds and explore the correlation between pain-related cognitions and pain threshold.
Design: A test-retest study.
Subjects: Forty-seven patients with whiplash-associated disorders.
Method: A visual analogue scale and a Painmatcher® (an instrument for comparing pain magnitude) were used to evaluate pain intensity. Pain threshold was assessed using the Painmatcher®. Pain-related cognitions were assessed using the Painometer® and the Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia.
Results: The Painmatcher® demonstrated reliable pain magnitude matching scores, but the pain threshold assessment indicated a systematic disagreement. Women exhibited significantly lower pain thresholds than men (p < 0.01). There was a weak but significant correlation between the pain intensity according to the visual analogue scale and the Painmatcher® (r = 0.46) (p < 0.01). There was a significant correlation between the emotional experience of pain and pain threshold (r = –0.33) (p < 0.001), but no significant correlation between fear of movement/(re)injury and pain threshold.
Conclusion: Measuring pain with the Painmatcher® is a reliable method, but may include a possible bias in threshold assessments and seems to be associated with unpleasantness.
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