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Do “central sensitization” questionnaires reflect measures of nociceptive sensitization or psychological constructs? Protocol for a systematic review

Adams, G. R. ORCID:, Gandhi, W., Harrison, R., Van Reekum, C. M. ORCID:, Gilron, I. and Salomons, T. V. (2021) Do “central sensitization” questionnaires reflect measures of nociceptive sensitization or psychological constructs? Protocol for a systematic review. Pain reports, 6 (4). e962. ISSN 2471-2531

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1097/PR9.0000000000000962


Introduction: Central sensitization (CS) was first defined in animal studies to be increased nociceptive responsiveness due to sensitization of neurons in the central nervous system, usually the result of prolonged nociceptive input or a disease state. Recently, the concept of CS has been adopted in clinical assessments of chronic pain, but its diagnosis in humans has expanded to include the enhancement of a wide range of nociceptive, sensory, and emotional responses. Many poorly understood pain disorders are referred to as “central sensitivity syndrome,” a term associated with a broad range of hypervigilant sensory and emotional responses. Diagnosis often involves a review of medical records and an assessment of behaviour, emotional disposition, and overall sensitivity of a patient. Obviously, these assessments are unable to directly capture the responsiveness of nociceptive neurons. The purpose of this review is to ascertain whether self-report questionnaires associated with central sensitization and the diagnosis of central sensitivity syndrome are associated with enhanced nociceptive responses or whether they more validly measure sensitivity in a broader sense (ie, including emotional responses). Methods: Following the PRISMA guidelines, a detailed search of studies that involve the Central Sensitization Inventory or Pain Sensitivity Questionnaire correlated with either nociceptive sensory tests (quantitative sensory testing) or emotional hypervigilance (anxiety, depression, stress, etc) will be conducted on MEDLINE, PsychINFO, and Web of Science. Perspective: The review is expected to synthesize correlations between sensitivity questionnaires and nociceptive or emotional sensitivity to determine whether these questionnaires reflect a broadened understanding of the term “central sensitization.”

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
ID Code:101042


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