Jackson, Diane, Horn, Sandra, Kersten, Paula and Turner-Stokes, Lynne
A pictorial scale of pain intensity (SPIN) for patients with communication impairments
International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 13, (10), .
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Patients with impaired communication often have difficulty describing symptoms such as pain, which hinders both clinical treatment and research. The objective of this study was to develop and characterize a step-by-step process for introducing a new pictorial scale of pain intensity (SPIN) to stroke patients with communication deficits undergoing rehabilitation.
To exemplify the process, this article describes a single patient with profound aphasia and rightsided hemiplegia, who was thought to have severe pain in his affected shoulder, probably associated with neuropathic pain.
A method of presenting the SPIN, based on a total communication approach, was established and serial pain ratings made by the patient were found to be consistent with independent clinical records.
The SPIN appears to have potential as a method for quantifying pain severity in people with limited communication. Further evaluation is needed in a larger sample of patients.
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