By Neil Thomas Stacey

Effective pain management interventions rely on accurate pain assessment, hampered by the subjective nature of the experience of pain and by inefficient communication between patients and healthcare practitioners. Many aspects of pain assessment rely on nuances of language, a matter which is presently subject to considerable research. Another hurdle lies in the imprecision of determining the location of pain, a process which is generally dependent, at some stage, on a patient pointing to the site of pain. This is an imprecise process, particularly handicapped by the fact that it is not possible to indicate depth when pointing with a single finger, as most patients instinctively tend to do. This obstruction, at least, could be alleviated by developing a practice of asking patients to use the index fingers on each hand, at right angles, to point to the site of the pain, thereby triangulating its location and indicating depth.


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Neil Thomas Stacey



Published: 5 Apr, 2024

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