Department of Neurosurgery

New Test Objectively Measures Pain

“If you’re one of the 100 million U.S. adults who suffer from chronic pain, you’re familiar with the Visual Analog Scale (VAS) used to indicate pain levels.  Despite its widespread use, researchers want a more objective measurement because it would better serve both chronic pain sufferers and healthcare providers.

‘Sadly, this scale of smiley faces, called the visual analogue scale, is the gold-standard pain-assessment tool,’ said Carl Saab, an associate professor of neuroscience and neurosurgery at Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital. ‘Our goal is to associate specific brain activity with various scores on the numerical scale to make pain assessment more objective. We want to help patients with chronic pain and their physicians get into agreement about pain level so it is better managed and diagnosed, which may reduce the over-prescription of opioids.’ ”

Read Full Story: New Test Objectively Measures Pain