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Can J Pain



Current Status and Future Directions of Pain-Related Outcome Measures for Post-Surgical Pain Trials.


Gilron I, Kehlet H, Pogatzki-Zahn E
Can J Pain. 2019; 3(2):36-43.
PMID: 35005417.


: Clinical trials remain vital in order to: A) develop new treatment interventions, and also, B) to guide optimal use of current interventions for the treatment and prevention of acute and chronic postsurgical pain. Measures of pain (e.g. intensity and relief) and opioid use have been validated for the settings of postsurgical pain and continue to effectively guide research in this field.. : This narrative review considers needs for innovation in postsurgical pain trial outcomes assessment. : Future improvements are needed and include: A) more widespread measurement of movement-evoked pain with validation of various procedure-relevant movemen-tevoked pain maneuvers; B) new validated analytical approaches to integrate early postoperative pain scores with opioid use; and, C) closer attention to the measurement of postoperative opioid use after hospital discharge. In addition to these traditional measures, consideration is being given to the use of new pain-relevant outcome domains that include: 1) other symptoms (e.g. nausea and vomiting), 2) recovery of physiological function (e.g. respiratory, gastrointestinal, genitourinary and musculoskeletal), 3) emotional function (e.g. depression, anxiety) and, 4) development of chronic postsurgical pain. Also, there is a need to develop pain-related domains and measures for evaluating both acute and chronic post-operative pain. Finally, evidence suggests that further needs for improvements in safety assessment and reporting in postsurgical pain trials is needed, e.g. by using an agreed upon, standardized collection of outcomes that will be reported as a minimum in all postsurgical pain trials. : These proposed advances in outcome measurement methodology are expected to improve the success by which postsurgical pain trials guide improvements in clinical care and patient outcomes.