Pain questionnaires

Why do I need to fill in questionnaires about my pain?

Pain, and the way the pain is experienced, differs from one person to the next, whether there is a specific cause for it or not. This means that two patients with pain caused by the same problem (such as a herniated disc) do not necessarily feel the same level of pain.

The severity of your pain depends on such things as your personal pain threshold, the in which way you cope with pain, whether the pain is restricting your daily activities, how it makes you feel, and how it affects your mood.

There may also be influences from the environment in which you live which determine how badly you feel the pain. Such influences are nowadays known as the biopsychosocial model of pain. This is the model that modern doctors use to interpret pain, and it states that the severity of your pain is determined not only by physical problems, but also by personal factors and aspects of your environment.

The questionnaire forms we ask you to complete assess all of these factors. The pain specialist who will be treating you will not only want to know about the physical cause of your pain, but also about other factors that may affect the severity of your pain. Such factors may make your pain feel worse, but may also make it feel less severe. If relevant, the doctor can use this information when designing your treatment.