Evaluating sensory profiles in nociplastic chronic low back pain: a cross-sectional validation study

Tags: etiology, sensitization, back pain, mind, pro, neurology, chronic pain, pain problems, spine

PainSci notes on Gräper 2020:

Sensory profiles are a measure of habitual styles of responding to sensations, based on a carefully phrased set of questions. The purpose of this study was to check to see if the Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile™ (AASP) is useful in people with chronic back pain, specifically cases judged to involve abnormally intense and persistent pain (“nociplastic,” as determined by other criteria). It passed those tests with flying colours, and “is suitable for evaluating SPs in primary care chronic low back pain patients.” And what are the sensory “styles” of those patients? They tended to be more uncomfortable with sensations, avoiding and minimizing their variety and intensity, and yet also respond more slowly to stimuli — much of which will sound familiar to most people who have endured a lot of chronic pain.

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

BACKGROUND: Sensory profiles (SPs) may be useful in classifying patients based on sensory sensitivity and behavioral responses to stimuli to develop personalized treatments for nonspecific chronic low back pain (CLBP). The Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile (AASP) identifies four sensitivity and behavioral response-related quadrants: Sensory Sensitive, Sensation Avoiding, Low Registration, and Sensation Seeking. It is an appropriate questionnaire for evaluating SPs; however, it has not been validated in CLBP. OBJECTIVES: To assess the internal consistency, test-retest reliability, agreement, and construct validity of the AASP in a CLBP population with nociplastic pain in primary care physiotherapy. DESIGN: Two evaluations were performed at a 2-week interval in this non-experimental cross-sectional study. PARTICIPANTS: Patients with CLBP. METHODS: Questionnaires were used to compare outcomes with the AASP. Reliability was evaluated by assessing internal consistency and test-retest reliability. Construct validity was evaluated in response to the a priori hypothesis. RESULTS: Ninety patients with CLBP were included. Internal consistency was excellent for all SPs (Cronbach's alpha, 0.91-0.92). Test-retest reliability Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC (3,2)) 0.82-0.87, for the SPs (95% CI 0.74-0.91, p< .001). Construct validity correlated positively with Low Registration, Sensory Sensitive, and Sensation Avoiding and negatively with Sensation Seeking. CONCLUSION: The AASP is suitable for evaluating SPs in primary care CLBP patients.

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