Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 43, Issue 9, pp 1386–1388 | Cite as

Next steps in ICU pain research

  • Kathleen PuntilloEmail author
  • Céline Gélinas
  • Gerald Chanques
What's New in Intensive Care


Assessment and management of pain in intensive care unit (ICU) patients have profited from 25 years of research. Many advances have been made to identify when patient pain is present and to test interventions that will improve patient comfort. This article highlights ICU pain research advances, identifies gaps that need attention, and suggests “next steps” in pain research.

Next steps in ICU pain assessment research

Routine monitoring of pain in all adult ICU patients using validated assessment tools that are adapted to the patient’s ability to communicate is an essential practice requirement [1]. While self-report scales have been compared and validated in ICU patient populations [2], behavioral scales are necessary for patients unable to self-report. The Behavioral Pain Scale (BPS) and the Critical-Care Pain Observation Tool (CPOT) have shown the most robust psychometric properties for use in many ICU patients [3], including delirious patients [4, 5]. Yet, their...


Intensive Care Unit Remifentanil Intensive Care Unit Patient Dexmedetomidine Pain Assessment 
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Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg and ESICM 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physiological NursingUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Ingram School of NursingMcGill UniversityMontréalCanada
  3. 3.Department of Anaesthesia and Critical Care Medicine, Saint Eloi HospitalUniversity of MontpellierMontpellierFrance
  4. 4.PhyMedExp, University of Montpellier, INSERM U1046, CNRS UMR 9214MontpellierFrance

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