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Papers of the Week

Papers: 8 Oct 2022 - 14 Oct 2022

2022 Oct 07

J Pain

Patient reported outcome measures in chronic neuropathic pain clinical trials – a systematic literature review.


Sachau J, Sendel M, Péchard M, Schnabel K, Schmieg I, Medkour T, Ecochard L, Woischnik M, Liedgens H, Pogatzki-Zahn E, Baron R, Bouhassira D
J Pain. 2022 Oct 07.
PMID: 36216128.


In neuropathic pain clinical trials, the patient's perspective is often insufficiently reflected focusing mainly on pain intensity. Comparability of outcome assessment is limited due to heterogenous patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs). The MEDLINE, CENTRAL, and Embase databases and reference lists of published meta-analyses were searched. Randomized controlled studies assessing treatment efficacy of drugs for chronic neuropathic pain were included. PROMs were assigned to recommended IMMPACT/NeuPSIG domains: pain intensity, pain other aspects, physical functioning, emotional functioning, global improvement and satisfaction, adverse events, participant disposition. Domains and PROMs were compared regarding the publication year and methodological quality of the studies. Within the 251 included studies 200 PROMs were used with 27 being recommended by IMMPACT/NeuPSIG. The number of domains was higher in high/moderate quality studies. The (sub-) domains 'physical functioning', 'global improvement and satisfaction', and 'neuropathic pain quality' were assessed more frequently in high/moderate quality studies and those published after 2011. Recent studies and those of better quality more often used the recommended PROMs. Although neuropathic assessment via PROMs has improved, there is still a high heterogeneity. A standardized core set of outcome domains and should be defined to improve neuropathic pain treatment and to achieve better comparability of clinical trials. Perspective: This systematic literature review assesses the use of patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) in chronic neuropathic pain. The results show that there is still a high heterogeneity, highlighting the need for a standardized core set of outcome domains and PROMs to improve comparability of clinical trials and neuropathic pain treatment.