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The "Pain" Questionnaire Analysis

The purpose of the "Pain" Questionnaire is to help individual hygienists to better understand the nature and extent of their problem. It is also a help in the hands-on session when specific suggestions can be made for each symptom cluster.

A statistical analysis has not been done to assign values to the number of pain sites that would determine low, moderate or high risk, but it is reasonable to assume that the more pain sites checked, the greater the individual's career risk factor. Some cases are initiated, or aggravated by trauma outside the office, but the end result compounds the problems at work. That is not what we want. The literature, starting with the McDonald Study in 1988, confirms what I have seen in the working hygiene community over many years, i.e. with a heavier work load more pain can be expected. Looking at the grid in the "Pain" Questionnaire moves the issue from the realm of speculation to a direct cause-effect relationship.

On the grid, the left vertical column lists eight anatomical sites, Fingers, Thumb, Hand, etc. Across the top eight symptoms are listed, Tingling, Numbness, Fatigue, Swelling, etc. The last two vertical columns on the right -Severity, L,M,S (Light, Moderate, Severe), and Length of Time in Years -are important in that they indicate the magnitude of the problem. The greater the severity and length of time it has existed, the more critical it becomes and the greater the need for intervention.

In reading the symptoms from left to right (these statements are my logical assumptions):

With all of this in mind, interpret the grid on your own "Pain" Questionnaire using the above information. Ifthe pain sites are mostly on the left side, it is an earlier case than if the right side is involved. The anatomic sites involved indicate the areas of greatest violation of either the neutral position ofjoints or exhaustion ofvital muscle groups. Don't forget to apply Severity and Length of Time as a part of the formula. Before laying it aside, below the grid, ifleisure activities are affected, that can erode the quality of life in a devastating manner. Loss of time and medical treatment can be serious considerations regarding both health and economic circumstances.

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