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Papers of the Week

Papers: 21 Sep 2019 - 27 Sep 2019

2019 Oct

Vet J


Measurement of chronic pain in companion animals: Priorities for future research and development based on discussions from the Pain in Animals Workshop (PAW) 2017.


The estimation of long-standing pain in companion animals through the measurement of different dimensions impacted by pain is a fundamental requirement if pain management, and pain therapeutic development, are to advance. Although pain management in veterinary medicine has advanced considerably in the last 20 years, there is much critical work to do in the area of measurement of chronic pain. To date, most work has centered on musculoskeletal pain, and has been focused around the measurement of limb use and the development of owner-completed questionnaires, or clinical metrology instruments (CMI). Recent areas of research have extended to developing measures of activity, sensory function (quantitative sensory testing; nociceptive withdrawal reflexes), and quality of life (QoL). Across all these areas, more data on validity are needed, and studies should be extended to other painful disease states. By necessity, assessing measurement tools requires testing in field studies, which incur considerable time and expense. Facilitating these studies could be optimized with a collaborative (industry, academia and private practice) approach, and the utility of the information produced from all field studies would be enhanced by full and transparent reporting and data sharing, including data already generated by industry in the form of studies submitted to the regulatory authorities.