Painful neuropathy is a common and often distressing complication of diabetes. It has considerable impact on the social and psychological well-being of affected individuals. There are two distinct forms of painful neuropathy: an acute and self-limiting form that resolves within a year or a chronic form that can go on for years. There are now a number of drugs available for the treatment of neuropathic pain. However, some may fail to respond to these drugs or may have unacceptable adverse side effects. When this is the case, the patient's quality of life can be severely affected. Health care professionals need to assess the full impact of painful neuropathy. In this article we review a number of instruments that are used to assess the severity of painful neuropathy and its impact on the quality of life.
Copyright 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.