Properties of pain assessment tools for use in people living with stroke: systematic review

Edwards, S. A., Ioannou, A., Carin-Levy, G., Cowey, E. , Brady, M., Morton, S., Sande, T. A., Mead, G. and Quinn, T. J. (2020) Properties of pain assessment tools for use in people living with stroke: systematic review. Frontiers in Neurology, 11, 792. (doi: 10.3389/fneur.2020.00792)

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Background: Pain is a common problem after stroke and is associated with poor outcomes. There is no consensus on the optimal method of pain assessment in stroke. A review of the properties of tools should allow an evidence based approach to assessment. Objectives: We aimed to systematically review published data on pain assessment tools used in stroke, with particular focus on classical test properties of: validity, reliability, feasibility, responsiveness. Methods: We searched multiple, cross-disciplinary databases for studies evaluating properties of pain assessment tools used in stroke. We assessed risk of bias using the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies tool. We used a modified harvest plot to visually represent psychometric properties across tests. Results: The search yielded 12 relevant articles, describing 10 different tools (n = 1,106 participants). There was substantial heterogeneity and an overall high risk of bias. The most commonly assessed property was validity (eight studies) and responsiveness the least (one study). There were no studies with a neuropathic or headache focus. Included tools were either scales or questionnaires. The most commonly assessed tool was the Faces Pain Scale (FPS) (6 studies). The limited number of papers precluded meaningful meta-analysis at level of pain assessment tool or pain syndrome. Even where common data were available across papers, results were conflicting e.g., two papers described FPS as feasible and two described the scale as having feasibility issues. Conclusion: Robust data on the properties of pain assessment tools for stroke are limited. Our review highlights specific areas where evidence is lacking and could guide further research to identify the best tool(s) for assessing post-stroke pain. Improving feasibility of assessment in stroke survivors should be a future research target.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Funding: SE was supported by a University of Glasgow studentship; the Pain in Stroke Research Group is supported by a British Association of Physicians and National Institute of Health Research Grant.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cowey, Professor Eileen
Authors: Edwards, S. A., Ioannou, A., Carin-Levy, G., Cowey, E., Brady, M., Morton, S., Sande, T. A., Mead, G., and Quinn, T. J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing > Nursing and Health Care
Journal Name:Frontiers in Neurology
Publisher:Frontiers Media
ISSN (Online):1664-2295
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 Edwards, Ioannou, Carin-Levy, Cowey, Brady, Morton, Sande, Mead and Quinn
First Published:First published in Frontiers in Neurology
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

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