Review ArticleMeasurement in pain therapy: is pain relief really the endpoint?Chapman, C. Richarda; Dunbar, Peter J.bAuthor Information aDepartment of Anesthesiology, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Washington and bDivision of Clinical Research, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington, USA Correspondence to C. Richard Chapman, PhD, University of Washington School of Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, Box 356540, Seattle, WA 98195-6540, USA Tel: +1 206 6852082; fax: +1 206 5432958; e-mail: [email protected] Abbreviations BPI: Brief Pain Inventory rCBF: regional cerebral blood flow VAS: visual analog scale Current Opinion in Anaesthesiology: October 1998 - Volume 11 - Issue 5 - p 533-537 Buy Abstract Pain is not an isolated symptom. Severe pain creates fatigue, impairs concentration, compromises mood, degrades sleep and diminishes overall activity level. The goal of intervention for chronic pain must include alleviating the functional impairment that pain produces as well as its discomfort. Evaluating treatment outcome requires: (1) quantification of both pain intensity and pain-related impairment; and (2) review of how the relationship between these variables changes as a function of treatment. Simply tracking pain intensity level as an indicator of pain relief is insufficient and can lead to misinterpretation of the effects of an intervention. © 1998 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.