App helps patients measure their pain

Have you ever visited your doctor and tried to describe the type or severity of pain you’re in?

Was it hard to find the right words to explain how you were feeling? Pains can change frequently and it is often hard to remember how much something hurt and exactly what type of pain it was when you are actually talking to your doctor.

Think of the challenges you’ve had trying to express your pain, and then imagine how it must feel to one of the 20 per cent of Canadians who live with a chronic pain condition, such as arthritis, back pain, or headache. It is important for doctors to be able to monitor how chronic pain changes with different treatments, but there is no standard way for this information to be efficiently captured and managed.

Two researchers out of McMaster are hoping to change all of that with their pain tracking tool, the Pain-QuILT. The Pain-QuILT is an online tool for the visual expression and electronic tracking of pain symptoms, developed out of clinical research at the University of Toronto and McMaster University (painquilt.mcmaster.ca, @PainQuILT).

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