The fallacy of using a solitary outcome measure as the standard for satisfactory pain treatment outcome

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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'Success' connotes that a goal has been achieved. For many pain therapies, pain reduction is selected as the goal, and 50% reduction of pain intensity is selected frequently as the threshold for declaring success. Assessment of pain treatment outcome with this solitary measure minimizes the multidimensional nature of pain, pain management, and outcomes. Although the 50% threshold for declaring success may be acceptable in some instances, in most cases it does not characterize adequately the global responses that should be expected with successful pain management. Goals for a given individual's pain therapy should be chosen according to the needs and concerns of the parties affected by the pain disorder and should be established prior to initiating a treatment program. Success should be judged according to whether the selected goals are met.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-191
Number of pages3
JournalPain Forum
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999



  • Assessment
  • Outcome
  • Pain
  • Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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