“It’s not pain it’s discomfort”: development and investigation of a discomfort measurement scale.

Nicholas Harland, Cormac Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Logically, anecdotally and empirically, there appears to be
a shared understanding of the difference between 'pain' and
'discomfort'. Although discomfort is commonly referred to in
medical literature, it has never been objectively measured or
its properties examined.
This study devised a visual analogue discomfort scale (VAS-D)
and obtained a sample of n=128 outpatient musculoskeletal
physiotherapy patients who complete it alongside a traditional
visual analogue pain scale (VAS-P) and the EQ5D-5L.
Demographic data was also collected. The purpose of the
investigation was to preliminarily validate the VAS-D as a
psychometric index.
Scale scores and correlations are examined in the entire sample
and in sub-samples split by gender and pain severity. Scale
correlations were primarily moderate indicating the VAS-D
measures a related but distinct construct to pain and there
was a statistically significant difference between discomfort
scores when compared to pain. This indicates the VAS-D
measures a related, but distinct construct to pain. 7.8%
of respondents endorsed the VAS-D but scored zero on the
VAS-P. The relationships between pain and discomfort scores
held face validity, adding empirical evidence to a theoretical
relationship between the constructs.
As a preliminary study, it appears the VAS-D is a valid scale
that is distinct from a VAS-P. Data supports a hypothesis that
VAS-P scores may be lower or even absent in the concurrent
presence of a VAS-D measure. Clinical implications and
direction for future investigation are briefly discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-23
Number of pages5
JournalPain and Rehabilitation: The Journal of the Physiotherapy Pain Association
Volume46
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2019

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Pain
Pain Measurement
Visual Analog Scale
Psychometrics
Reproducibility of Results
Outpatients
Demography

Cite this

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title = "“It’s not pain it’s discomfort”: development and investigation of a discomfort measurement scale.",
abstract = "Logically, anecdotally and empirically, there appears to be a shared understanding of the difference between 'pain' and 'discomfort'. Although discomfort is commonly referred to in medical literature, it has never been objectively measured or its properties examined. This study devised a visual analogue discomfort scale (VAS-D) and obtained a sample of n=128 outpatient musculoskeletal physiotherapy patients who complete it alongside a traditional visual analogue pain scale (VAS-P) and the EQ5D-5L. Demographic data was also collected. The purpose of the investigation was to preliminarily validate the VAS-D as a psychometric index.Scale scores and correlations are examined in the entire sample and in sub-samples split by gender and pain severity. Scale correlations were primarily moderate indicating the VAS-D measures a related but distinct construct to pain and there was a statistically significant difference between discomfort scores when compared to pain. This indicates the VAS-D measures a related, but distinct construct to pain. 7.8{\%} of respondents endorsed the VAS-D but scored zero on the VAS-P. The relationships between pain and discomfort scores held face validity, adding empirical evidence to a theoretical relationship between the constructs.As a preliminary study, it appears the VAS-D is a valid scale that is distinct from a VAS-P. Data supports a hypothesis that VAS-P scores may be lower or even absent in the concurrent presence of a VAS-D measure. Clinical implications and direction for future investigation are briefly discussed.",
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“It’s not pain it’s discomfort”: development and investigation of a discomfort measurement scale. / Harland, Nicholas; Ryan, Cormac.

In: Pain and Rehabilitation: The Journal of the Physiotherapy Pain Association, Vol. 46, 31.01.2019, p. 19-23.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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