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Anesth Analg. 2007 Mar;104(3):703-18.

A primer on health-related quality of life in chronic pain medicine.

Author information

  • Department of Anesthesia, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202, USA. tvetter@iupui.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Pain is a complex and individual experience that is often difficult for patients to fully describe using a conventional pain intensity scale. Health-related quality of life is an additional metric by which to assess patients' subjective perspective on their chronic pain experience and its adverse effect on their lives. Health-related quality of life encompasses those aspects of health and well-being valued by patients, specifically, their physical, emotional, and cognitive function, and their ability to participate in meaningful activities within their family, workplace, and community.

METHODS:

A methodical search of the medical literature was undertaken to identify the most commonly applied health-related quality of life measurement instruments. These measurement instruments were then assessed within the context of chronic pain medicine clinical practice and research.

RESULTS:

This primer provides an overview of the concept of health-related quality of life as a clinical measurement and the specific means by which to measure health-related quality of life across various cultures in adults, as well as in children and adolescents, suffering from chronic pain conditions.

CONCLUSIONS:

We have the ability and impetus to routinely assess adult and pediatric health-related quality of life in chronic pain medicine. However, further attention needs to be focused on overcoming barriers to the more widespread measurement of health-related quality of life. A valid preference-based, utility measure of health-related quality of life is a requirement for performing a cost-utility (cost-effectiveness) analysis and undertaking formal decision analysis modeling.

PMID:
17312232
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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