Pre-screening tools are a different concept again. They are designed to give a quick ‘best hunch’ to see if it’s worth using a fully validated screening tool.
In clinical practice using a screening tool can be time consuming. In short consultations like a 10 minute GP one, each minute counts, so deciding quickly whether to use one or not can be helpful.
We’ve used a pre screening tool on this website. When you started you were asked two questions. These questions have been very carefully designed to asses risk for developing complex pain. We know the following are strongly predictive risk factors for developing complex pain; a combination of these factors may indicate higher risk
- Severe pain intensity
- Long pain duration
- Distress (like anxiety, depression or recurring thoughts of hopelessness)
- Pain in multiple areas
It’s been shown in a number of studies that focusing on these issues and treating them can reduce the likelihood of developing chronic problems.
The best way to asses pain is using a principle called the ‘biopsychosocial’ approach. This means both patient & clinician focus on the biological, psychological, and social aspects of pain.
Each are just as important as each other. In short consultations like GP ones, there may not be enough time to cover all parts, so more consultations can be agreed and agendas set.
Complex pain is often very difficult to live with and can impact upon many aspects of our lives, as identified in the diagram above.
Complex Pain Cycles
When we’re in pain our most common reaction is to do anything that eases the pain. We rest the painful area, alter our movements to protect painful areas and avoid exerting ourselves in order to avoid any further pain. But this in turn can lead to other problems like de-conditioning, reduced function and negative feelings and emotions. One thing can lead and link to another and it can feel like you are in a ‘vicious cycle’.
This red wheel may be familiar territory for many people living with pain.
But the green cycle shows that it might be possible to break or change the cycle, and the way that pain effects your life. Use the rest of the website to explore how you can help yourself to take control.
The I-GRO Star
Please spend a few minutes thinking about five areas of your life that you would like to see yourself develop . These areas may be different for everybody and it can be helpful to focus on what is important to you as an individual.
Examples of things which you may like to include are listed below for ideas; though please feel free to use your own, but here are some examples:
Sleep ☼ Exercise ☼ Mobility ☼ Social Life ☼ Confidence ☼ Sense of control ☼ Knowing your abilities ☼ Being assertive ☼ Feeling relaxed
After you have identified the areas you would like to develop, write each one down separately and fill out the iGro Star© below:
Number 10 on the scale represents where you would like to be in terms of your chosen areas and 0 represents the worst things have ever been for you for your areas. Mark on each scale where you feel you are at present. Work your way around the iGro Star© until you have scored each area.
Come back and fill it in again in the future to help you see how you are doing/progressing?
After you have identified the areas you would like to develop, write each one down separately, print out and fill out the iGro Star© below: