“Persistent pain is measured by means of self-report, the sole reliance on which hampers diagnosis and treatment.”
This is the first line of the abstract of a 2013 paper An fMRI-Based Neurologic Signature of Physical Pain from Wager et al.
I think this is quite an extraordinary statement to make – think about it for a moment.
The paper does explain a little further:
“The capacity to effectively report pain is limited in many vulnerable populations (e.g., the very old or very young, persons with cognitive impairment, and those who are minimally conscious).”
But there is also this:
“… but pain is not easy to ascertain. It is primarily assessed by means of self-report, an imperfect measure of subjective experience“
How else does one ‘measure subjective experience’ – pain especially?
Can subjective experience even be ‘measured’?
We’ve got an action packed Australian teaching tour happening in 2016. Click on the image below, or the location links, for details:
Townsville: April 29-May 1 EP & GMI
Canberra: at the Australian Institute of Sport May 3-4 MONIS, May 6-8 EP & GMI
Adelaide: May 14-15 Pain, Plasticity and Rehabilitation
Noosa: June 17-19 EP & GMI
Perth: October 15-17 EP & GMI