Scoring System Advocated to Assess Chronic Pain

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Eighteen percent of the patients noted chronic pain after four months.
Eighteen percent of the patients noted chronic pain after four months.

An extensive physical examination and a correlated scoring system, as opposed to just clinical factors alone, may paint a more comprehensive picture when assessing a patient's chronic pain following a surgery.

Antonio Montes Perez, MD, PhD, of the department of anesthesiology, Hospital de Mar in Barcelona, Spain, and colleagues followed 2,929 patients undergoing either a hernia repair, hysterectomy or thoracotomy at four, 12 and 24 months after surgery. 

Eighteen percent of the patients noted chronic pain after four months, and 5.2% noted chronic pain after 24 months.

The scoring system was developed based on six predictors among the patients in the study:

• Age 

• Type of surgery 

• Mental health status 

• Physical health status

• Preoperative pain in the surgical area and 

• Preoperative pain in another area.

The researchers said this risk scoring can facilitate discussions on addressing the pain during the recover, and setting a schedule to monitor pain, with follow up visits.

Reference

1. Montes A. Anesthesiology. 2015; doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000000611

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