Test-retest reliability of subjective supra-threshold scaling of multiple pressure-pain sensations among healthy individuals: a study using hydraulic pressure algometry Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • BACKGROUND:Supra-threshold scaling of multiple pressure-pain sensations involves delivery of varied stimulus intensities, either via stimulus-dependent or response-dependent manner, and recording of subjective pain ratings by participants. The focus of this study was to determine the intra- and inter-session reliability of pain intensity and pain unpleasantness ratings related to pressure-pain thresholds (PPTs) of just noticeable pain (JNP), weak pain (WP) and moderate pain (MP) among healthy individuals. METHODS:Fourteen healthy participants (eight women, six men) participated in three sessions of testing at varied intervals over the course of 72 h. In session one, a multiple random staircase method using hydraulic pressure algometry was used to measure PPT of JNP, WP and MP on thumbnail bed. In session 2, ratings of pain intensity and pain unpleasantness were recorded when stimuli at levels corresponding to PPT of JNP, WP and MP were repeatedly applied before and after 20 min of no intervention. RESULTS:Interclass correlation coefficient (ICC) values for pain ratings of JNP, WP and MP in intra-session reliability were 0.810, 0.826 and 0.881, respectively, whereas the values were 0.817, 0.792 and 0.910, respectively, for inter-session reliability. ICC values for pain unpleasantness were also highly consistent and repeatable. Temporal summation of pain intensity and pain unpleasantness were not related to the repeated application of pressure stimuli. CONCLUSIONS:The findings indicate that the pain intensity and pain unpleasantness ratings for stimuli at levels equal to the thresholds of JNP, WP and MP have good intra- and inter-session reliability. SIGNIFICANCE:This study showed that both pain intensity and pain unpleasantness of JNP, WP and MP have good intra- and inter-session reliability and agreement. Furthermore, the temporal summation of pain or unpleasantness is not related to repeated application of pressure stimuli. ABBREVIATIONS:JNP: Just noticeable pain; WP: Weak pain; MP: Moderate pain; PPTs: pressure-pain thresholds; HPA: Hydraulic pressure algometry; MRSM: multiple random staircase method.

authors

publication date

  • 2018