Pain in Women With Relapsing-remitting Multiple Sclerosis and in Healthy Women: A Comparative Study

Pamela Newland


J Neurosci Nurs. 2008;40(5):262-268. 

In This Article

Implications for Practice and Research

The pain experience in women with RRMS has significant practice implications for nursing. The findings from this study may assist nurses practicing in hospitals and other settings within the community to regularly monitor for the presence and intensity of pain and for pain interference over several days using a multidimensional pain-assessment scale. In this study, pain was measured using a combination of the BPI assessment (Cleeland & Ryan, 1994) and a VAS. This would be a succinct, valid, and reliable pain assessment for people with MS in any setting. Also, higher pain intensity in women with RRMS indicates that nurses should focus on complete, prompt, and effective pain assessment and management.

Finally, further pain research is needed in women with RRMS. Specifically, the BPI-LF (Daut et al., 1983) would be a useful, comprehensive way to measure pain in future studies. Research is needed to design nursing interventions that minimize pain in women with RRMS. Research also is warranted to determine whether the presence of pain, pain intensity, pain locations, and pain interference are different among populations with other MS subtypes. Identifying patients with MS subtypes who are at risk may further assist in developing and testing effective interventions for pain management. Moreover, knowledge is needed about the role that the RRMS subtype may play in pain interference. For example, women with RRMS may find that pain interferes with their daily lives more than women with a more progressive MS subtype and healthy women.


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