Pain measurement: an overview

Pain. 1985 May;22(1):1-31. doi: 10.1016/0304-3959(85)90145-9.


The practice and theoretical basis of pain measurement is reviewed and critically examined in the areas of animal research, human subjects laboratory investigation and clinical study. The advantages and limitations of both physiological and behavioral methods are discussed in each area, and subjective report procedures are evaluated in human laboratory and clinical areas. The need for procedures that bridge these areas is emphasized and specific issues are identified. Progress in the technology of pain measurement over recent decades is reviewed and directions for future work are suggested.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arousal / physiology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Electroencephalography
  • Electromyography
  • Evoked Potentials, Somatosensory
  • Humans
  • Nociceptors / physiopathology
  • Pain / diagnosis*
  • Pain / physiopathology
  • Peripheral Nerves / physiopathology
  • Reflex / physiology
  • Research
  • Sensory Thresholds