Identification and Validation of Brazilian Chronic Pain Descriptors

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Appropriate pain assessment is very important for managing chronic pain. Given the cultural differences in verbally expressing pain and in psychosocial problems, specific tools are needed. The goal of this study was to identify and validate Brazilian pain descriptors. A purposive sample of health professionals and chronic pain patients was recruited. Four studies were conducted using direct and indirect psychophysical methods: category estimation, magnitude estimation, and magnitude estimation and line-length. Results showed the descriptors which best describe chronic pain in Brazilian culture and demonstrated that there is not a significant correlation between patients and health professionals and that the psychophysical scale of judgment of pain descriptors is valid, stable, and consistent. Results reinforced that the translations of word descriptors and research tools into another language may be inappropriate, owing to differences in perception and communication and the inadequacy of exact translations to reflect the intended meaning. Given the complexity of the chronic pain, personal suffering involved, and the need for accurate assessment of chronic pain using descriptors stemming from Brazilian culture and language, it is essential to investigate the most adequate words to describe chronic pain. Although it requires more refinement, the Brazilian chronic pain descriptors can be used further to develop a multidimensional pain assessment tool that is culturally sensitive.

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