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Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 2008 May;34(2):311-30. doi: 10.1016/j.rdc.2008.03.002.

The assessment of musculoskeletal pain in the clinical setting.

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Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol, Canynge Hall, Whiteladies Road, Bristol, BS8 2PR, UK.


Pain is a primary symptom in musculoskeletal conditions, and aspects of the pain experience (eg, severity) are key considerations in clinical decision-making and in the outcome of trials and interventions. Consequently, appropriate assessment of pain is essential. This article reviews the measures most commonly used in rheumatology practice, arguing that many are significantly limited in their ability to reflect the complexity of the patient's experience. The authors provide examples of alternative approaches, concluding that there is real scope for improving assessment and measurement of musculoskeletal pain in the clinical setting.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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