Turkish Neurosurgery 2015 , Vol 25 , Num 3
Pain Perception Differences Between Patients and Physicians: A Pain Severity Study in Patients with Low Back Pain
Oktay SARI1, Caglar TEMIZ2, Mehmet GOLCUR1, Umit AYDOGAN1, Alpaslan TANOGLU3, Mehmet Can EZGU2, Ozkan TEHLI2
1Gulhane Military Medical Faculty, Department of Family Medicine, Ankara, Turkey
2Gulhane Military Medical Faculty, Department of Neurosurgery, Ankara, Turkey
3Gulhane Military Medical Academy Haydarpasa Training Hospital, Department of Internal Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey
DOI : 10.5137/1019-5149.JTN.13481-14.1 AIM: Perception, definition and tolerance of pain vary individually because of its subjective character. This study aimed to determine the perception differences between patients with mechanical low back pain (MLBP) and their physicians regarding the assessments of the patients’ pain severity.

MATERIAL and METHODS: 181 patients with MLBP and 2 physicians took part in the study. Before the initial examination, the patients filled out a questionnaire consisting of demographic data, pain characteristics, Modified Oswestry Disability Questionnaire (MODQ) and Visual Analog Scale (VAS). The patients’ forms were concealed from the physicians. Then physicians examined their patients and rated their pain severity using a different VAS form.

RESULTS: The mean age of the patients was 36.2±12.3 years. 64.6% (n:117) were female, 71.9% (n:13) were highly educated and 57.1% (n:103) were obese. Physicians always rated the patients’ pain severity significantly lower than the patients rated their own pain regardless of all demographic data (p<0.001). Correlation between the VAS scores of patients and physicians were detected as 0.41 (p <0.001) and the power of the study was calculated as 91.5%. The mean MODQ score of the patients was calculated as 54.4±21.1. Reliability of the questions in MODQ was calculated as alpha:0.87. A moderate correlation between VAS ratings and MODQ was observed (r:0.52, p<0.001).

CONCLUSION: As a main factor directly affecting many outcomes, good communication between patient and physician, is essential to assess the patients’ pain more accurately. Keywords : Modified Oswestry disability questionnaire, Pain severity, Pain perception differences, Visual analog scale

Corresponding author : Caglar Temız, Ctemiz1972@gmail.com