- Used to quantify the neurological dysfunction associated with neuropathic pain, by measuring thresholds for mechanical detection, vibration detection, cool and warm detection and cold and hot pain sensations.
- Assessment of thresholds can be used to evaluate the involvement of different nervous system functions (Nathan et al. 1986).
- Thermal pain thresholds may be particularly useful when used in combination with self-report measures of neuropathic pain for the development of pain management strategies.
- QST may not feasible as a general test used across clinical sites due to the necessary equipment, but may be feasible for specific clinics that focus on pain and pain management.
- For each QST threshold, several measurements need to be taken in different dermatomes. Thresholds are to be measured both for increasing and decreasing intensity.
- Patient burden is extensive; testing must be in person at a clinic or hospital.
- The scale was not developed specifically for the SCI population, although preliminary research shows it can be used within this group without any adaptations.
- QST has been used extensively to assess the functional integrity of the somatosensory system among various populations (Felix & Widerstrom-Noga. 2009). Preliminary evidence indicates high reliability among SCI participants. A significant correlation was found between average thermal pain thresholds (ATPT) and the severity of self reported pain.
Body Function ▶ Sensory Function