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Papers of the Week

Papers: 31 Dec 2022 - 6 Jan 2023

2022 Dec 30

J Pain

Clinical assessment of mechanical allodynia in youth with complex regional pain syndrome: Development and preliminary validation of the Pediatric Tactile Sensitivity Test of Allodynia (Pedi-Sense).


Youth with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) commonly experience mechanical allodynia and disability. Assessment of mechanical allodynia is typically binary (present or absent), making it difficult to assess the quality and degree of mechanical allodynia before and after treatment. This study developed and validated the Pediatric Tactile Sensitivity Test of Allodynia (Pedi-Sense) to provide an easy way for rehabilitation clinicians to evaluate mechanical allodynia before and after intensive interdisciplinary pain treatment. The six Pedi-Sense items demonstrated adequate internal consistency reliability (CR) at admission (CR = 0.956) and discharge (CR = 0.973), reasonably fit the hypothesized linear model of stimulus intensity (p<0.0001), and significantly loaded onto a single latent factor, mechanical allodynia (p<0.0001), at admission and discharge. Pedi-Sense scores significantly correlated with disability (r = 0.40; p = 0.004) and pain catastrophizing (r = 0.33; p = 0.017) at admission. The Pedi-Sense appeared responsive to intervention as participants' total scores improved by 1.44 points (95% CI: 0.72, 2.15) after IIPT interventions that included daily tactile desensitization. However, test-retest and interrater reliability and the specific contribution of desensitization treatment to the overall success of multi-modal pain rehabilitation still needs to be evaluated. PERSPECTIVE: This article presents the development and preliminary validation of a novel clinical assessment of static and dynamic mechanical allodynia. The Pediatric Tactile Sensitivity Test of Allodynia (Pedi-Sense) allows rehabilitation clinicians to easily evaluate mechanical allodynia at the bedside with minimal training and simple equipment to guide desensitization treatment in clinical settings.