Pain Assessment in Spinal Cord Injury Academic Article uri icon


  • Pain management is a serious problem for individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI). Recent developments in pain assessment indicate that multiaxial approaches, assessing medical, psychosocial, and behavioral/functional dimensions, are necessary to measure adequately the impact of chronic pain. The application of this multiaxial system to persons with SCI and chronic pain is presented. A review of the literature indicates that the psychometric properties and test utility for most pain measures have not been established for persons with SCI. The assessment task is further confounded by the functional limitations and psychosocial impairments that may accompany SCI. Recommendations are made for adapting established pain measures for use with SCI individuals. The choice of assessment tools for these patients is guided by the multidimensional nature of the pain experience, functional limitations, and the goals of treatment.

author list (cited authors)

  • Wegener, S. T., & Elliott, T. R.

citation count

  • 11

publication date

  • June 1992