Review of Neuropathic Pain Screening and Assessment Tools
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- Jones, R.C.W. & Backonja, M. Curr Pain Headache Rep (2013) 17: 363. doi:10.1007/s11916-013-0363-6
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Chronic pain due to injury to or diseases of the nervous system, known as neuropathic pain (NP), is a common debilitating medication condition for which there are currently several symptomatically effective therapies. Therefore, early identification of NP in the primary and specialty care setting will avoid unnecessary delays in amelioration of symptoms. Given that it is associated with unique symptoms and physical exam signs, several assessment tools have been developed to aid medical practitioners in the identification of patients with NP. The majority of these tools have been developed to differentiate NP from nonNP and to quantify the severity of symptoms that define NP, and some have been used to aid in assessment of response to interventions. This focused review will describe the primary NP assessment tools that are currently available, and discuss their suitability for screening patients and for research applications. Wider use of NP assessment tools will facilitate the development of new therapies, further clarify the epidemiology of this condition, and improve the treatment of NP.