The Self-Administered Leeds Assessment of Neuropathic Symptoms and Signs (S-LANSS), an assessment tool to determine if pain is predominantly neuropathic, has not been validated in a community setting. Previously identified residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota, with chronic pain were recruited using a stratified randomization process to increase the frequency of neuropathic pain in the study sample. Subjects completed the S-LANSS in mailed and telephone formats, and underwent clinical assessment to determine if a component of their pain was neuropathic. Sensitivity and specificity of the S-LANSS as compared to the clinical assessment were determined. Two hundred and five subjects participated in the study. Eighty-three subjects (40%) had a positive S-LANSS score in the mailed, as did 59 of 173 (34%) in the telephone format, with little inter-subject difference in scores (p = 0.57). Clinical assessment identified a component of neuropathic pain in 37% of the sample (75/205). Compared to clinical assessment, sensitivity and specificity in the mailed S-LANSS were 57% (95% CI, 46–69%) and 69% (95% CI, 61–77%), respectively, and in the telephone S-LANSS were 52% (95% CI, 39–64%) and 78% (95% CI, 68–85%), respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of the S-LANSS in both formats were lower than the initial S-LANSS validation study. Differences in survey format and subject population could account for these differences, suggesting that the S-LANSS is best suited as a screening tool and its use to determine the prevalence of neuropathic pain in population studies should be viewed cautiously.
aDivision of Pain Medicine, Department of Anesthesia, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN, USA
bDepartment of Research, Olmsted Medical Center, Rochester, MN, USA
cDivision of Epidemiology, Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN, USA
*Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 507 266 3636.
1Present address: ALZA Corporation, Clinical Research, Mountain View, CA, USA.
Submitted December 16, 2006; received in revised form and accepted July 31, 2007.
☆This work was supported by an unrestricted grant from AstraZeneca.