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Nurs Res. 2019 Jul 4. doi: 10.1097/NNR.0000000000000375. [Epub ahead of print]

Relationship of Pain Quality Descriptors and Quantitative Sensory Testing: Sickle Cell Disease.

Author information

1
Post-Doctoral Associate, University of Florida College of Nursing, Gainesville, FL Associate Professor, University of Florida College of Nursing, Gainesville, FL Associate Professor, University of Florida College of Nursing, Gainesville, FL Professor, University of Florida College of Dentistry, Gainesville, FL Research Associate Professor, University of Florida College of Nursing, Gainesville, FL Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing, Chicago, IL Project Director, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing, Chicago, IL Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy, Chicago, IL Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, Chicago, IL Prairieview Trust-Earl and Margo Powers Endowed Professor, Director, Center for Palliative Care Research and Education, University of Florida College of Nursing, Gainesville, FL.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Chronic pain in adults with sickle cell disease (SCD) may be the result of altered processing in the central nervous system as indicated by quantitative sensory testing (QST). Sensory pain quality descriptors on the McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ) are indicators of typical or altered pain mechanisms but have not been validated with QST-derived classifications.

OBJECTIVES:

The specific aim of this study was to identify the sensory pain quality descriptors that are associated with the QST-derived normal or sensitized classifications. We expected to find that sets of sensory pain quality descriptors would discriminate the classifications.

METHOD:

A cross-sectional quantitative study of existing data from 186 adults of African ancestry with SCD. Variables included MPQ descriptors, patient demographic data, and QST-derived classifications.

RESULTS:

The participants were classified as central sensitization (n = 33), mixed sensitization (n = 23) and normal sensation. Sensory pain quality descriptors that differed statistically between mixed sensitization and central sensation compared to normal sensitization included: cold (p = .01), and spreading (p=.01). Aching (p = .01) and throbbing (p = .01) differed statistically between central sensitization compared with mixed sensitization and normal sensation. Beating (p = .01) differed statistically between mixed sensitization compared with central sensitization and normal sensation. No set of sensory pain quality descriptors differed statistically between QST classifications.

DISCUSSION:

Our study is the first to examine the association between MPQ sensory pain quality descriptors and QST-derived classifications in adults with SCD. Our findings provide the basis for the development of an MPQ subscale with potential as a mechanism-based screening tool for neuropathic pain.

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