Committees  |   November 2013
Finding New Ways to Measure Pain
Author Affiliations
  • Gregory K. Applegate, D.O.
    Committee on Regional Anesthesia
Article Information
Pain Medicine / Committees
Committees   |   November 2013
Finding New Ways to Measure Pain
ASA Monitor 11 2013, Vol.77, 44-46.
ASA Monitor 11 2013, Vol.77, 44-46.
The U.S. military and Veterans Health Administration (VHA) have developed a common language Department of Defense (DoD) and VHA pain assessment tool with measurement enhancements, including visual cues and common language for patient-reported pain outcomes. The Defense and Veterans Pain Rating Scale (DVPRS) was published in May 2010 after the creation of the Army Pain Management Task Force (TF), which was chartered by Lieutenant General (Ret.) Eric B. Schoomaker in August 2009. The recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have introduced a new influx of DoD and VHA patients with acute and chronic pain. The TF, a tri-service and VHA effort, was looking for a novel way to assess pain in response to the military’s concerns about difficulties and inconsistences in using and interpreting traditional pain measuring tools in practice. The ability to apply a set of standard pain questions across the entire military health system was viewed as a substantial improvement for the integration of pain outcomes data to drive clinical decisions and resource allocation. Currently, validation studies are under way to test the DVPRS in multiple clinical settings and with diverse patient populations. The initial validation study was published in January 2013.1 
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