Evidence-based outcomes in pain research and clinical practice

Pain Pract. 2008 Nov-Dec;8(6):452-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1533-2500.2008.00239.x.


The growing emphasis on evidence-based medicine dictates that reliable, evidence-based outcomes be utilized in documenting response to treatment, as well as determining the treatment efficacy and cost-effectiveness of different treatment modalities. The biopsychosocial model conceptualizes pain as a complex multifactorial interaction of biological, psychological, and social components that play a role in the development, exacerbation, and perpetuation of pain. As a result, outcomes relevant to pain management are necessarily complex and multifactorial in nature. Two broad categories of evidence-based outcomes relevant to pain management are discussed: patient-reported outcomes and objective outcomes. Patient-reported outcomes are discussed within the context of pain measures, health-related quality of life, and psychological constructs. Objective outcomes are discussed within the context of healthcare utilization and occupational status. The discussion within each section highlights the unique constructs measured by each category of outcome measure and highlights their consistency with current evidence-based guidelines and knowledge from pain research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / methods*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Humans
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / methods*
  • Pain / psychology
  • Pain Management*