Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Pain Assessment at our Center (1st Visit)

When patients come to our center for the first time, they might not know,  how to talk about their pain. Nearly all patients coming to see a rheumatologist for the first time come beause of pain. Every patient receives a 5 pages questionnaire to assess symptoms, a pain inventory, drugs, allergies, and so on, a HAQ, and a pain manniquin.

Short questionnaire to assess your pain

How much pain did you have?

0  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10
no pain                                      great pain

How much fatigue did you have?
0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10
No fatigue                                  great fatigue

Where did the pain start? (open question)
Since when do you have pain? (open question)
I there a certain time of  the day, when pain is especially intense? (open question)
What would you character your pain? pulling, stabbing, burning, boring, cutting, unpleasant, disturbing, annoying (and more, open for addional characteristics)
What relieves the symptoms? (open question)

What enhances the complaints? (open question)

When taking the patient's history we can take this as a starting point for questions to get a deeper knowledge. For instance strongest and weakest pain during the past 24 hour or week to look for fluctuations.

All in all this small inventory has helped to get started with assessing pain.

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