Current Anesthesiology Reports

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 414–421 | Cite as

Outcomes in Pain Clinical Research: What Really Matters for Patients?

  • James S. KhanEmail author
  • Rutvij Shah
  • Ian Gilron
Research Methods and Statistical Analyses (Y Le Manach, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Research Methods and Statistical Analyses


Purpose of Review

The measurement and assessment of pain outcomes is critical to the design, analysis, and interpretation of a pain clinical trial. Results from clinical research impact a number of stakeholders, but it can be argued that patients are the most affected. The purpose of this review is to summarize the most important pain outcomes to patients and discuss methodological considerations in collecting these data in a clinical trial.

Recent Findings

We found that there are a number of outcomes that are important to patients. The outcomes that consistently appear in the literature include reductions in pain intensity, changes in medications, and improvements in physical functioning, sleep, and emotional well-being.


Further work is needed to identify what patients truly consider important, minimally important changes, and how best to measure and report these outcomes in pain clinical research.


Pain Clinical Outcomes Methodology 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

James S. Khan, Rutvij Shah, and Ian Gilron declare they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anesthesia, Mount Sinai HospitalUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of Neurology, Health Science CenterLousiana State UniversityShreveportUSA
  3. 3.Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative MedicineQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada

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