Investigating the validity of the DN4 in a consecutive population of patients with chronic pain

Hans Timmerman, Monique A H Steegers, Frank J P M Huygen, Jelle J Goeman, Nick T van Dasselaar, Marcel J Schenkels, Oliver H G Wilder-Smith, André P Wolff, Kris C P Vissers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Neuropathic pain is clinically described as pain caused by a lesion or disease of the somatosensory nervous system. The aim of this study was to assess the validity of the Dutch version of the DN4, in a cross-sectional multicentre design, as a screening tool for detecting a neuropathic pain component in a large consecutive, not pre-stratified on basis of the target outcome, population of patients with chronic pain. Patients' pain was classified by two independent (pain-)physicians as the gold standard. The analysis was initially performed on the outcomes of those patients (n = 228 out of 291) in whom both physicians agreed in their pain classification. Compared to the gold standard the DN4 had a sensitivity of 75% and specificity of 76%. The DN4-symptoms (seven interview items) solely resulted in a sensitivity of 70% and a specificity of 67%. For the DN4-signs (three examination items) it was respectively 75% and 75%. In conclusion, because it seems that the DN4 helps to identify a neuropathic pain component in a consecutive population of patients with chronic pain in a moderate way, a comprehensive (physical-) examination by the physician is still obligate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e0187961
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume12
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Cite this

Timmerman, H., Steegers, M. A. H., Huygen, F. J. P. M., Goeman, J. J., van Dasselaar, N. T., Schenkels, M. J., ... Vissers, K. C. P. (2017). Investigating the validity of the DN4 in a consecutive population of patients with chronic pain. PLoS ONE, 12(11), e0187961. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0187961