Sensitivity to change of the Spanish validated Memorial Pain Assessment Card in cancer patients



Pain intensity is a good parameter to assess effective treatment of cancer and palliative care. The Memorial Pain Assessment Card (MPAC) is a quick, easy and reliable measure of quality of life in cancer patients. The MPAC was validated in Spanish in 2004. This study evaluated the sensitivity to change Spanish version of the MPAC.

Material and methods

An epidemiological, prospective, 1-month, multicentre study, conducted at 4 oncology services. Patients evaluated suffered chronic cancer pain and were in a susceptible situation of change. The MPAC was administrated at baseline, at one week and at one month, including the 4 subscales (pain relief [VASPR], pain intensity measured by VAS [VASPI] and by an 8-item descriptor [Tursky], and psychological distress [VASMOOD]). Satisfaction of patients and health-care professionals with the MPAC was also evaluated.


A total of 54 patients were studied. All of the MPAC subscales showed sensitivity to change during the follow-up. The subscale values at visit 1 vs. visit 3 were: VASPR 4.5±1.9 vs. 6.3±2.3, VASPI 6.6±1.6 vs. 3.5±1.9 and VASMOOD 5.5±2.1 vs. 4.0±2.1). Patients and healthcare professionals agreed in the facility use MPAC card (63% and 71% of cases, respectively).


The present study showed sensitivity to change among the different MPAC subscales of the Spanish version. Moreover, the MPAC Spanish version has proven to be a good tool accepted by health-care-professionals and patients. Due to its facility of administration, it may allow a useful and quick evaluation of cancer-related pain in the clinical practice.

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Correspondence to Jorge Contreras.

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Contreras, J., Valcárcel, F., Domine, M. et al. Sensitivity to change of the Spanish validated Memorial Pain Assessment Card in cancer patients. Clin Transl Oncol 10, 654–659 (2008).

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  • Oncologic pain
  • MPAC scale
  • Sensitivity to change