Without numbers, stories are just anecdotes, but without stories, numbers are just dry statistics.
- Tara Lamont
For many years my work split fairly evenly between helping people with psychological difficulties and helping people with pain problems. Quite a few people were troubled with both. In the last several years I have done much less work with pain, although I still see some people for overall pain management. This has been partly because I was trying to keep up-to-date with too many fields, so stepping back from pain work made sense. It has also been partly because the flourishing of research into happiness & wellbeing has fascinated me and taken up time. Here are a collection of pain-associated assessment and information sheets that I accumulated over the years. They are obviously relevant for work with pain, and some (e.g. one year symptom diary) can be adapted for work with stress & psychological difficulties.
One year symptom diary & background - this one-year-to-a-sheet symptom diary can be used to track a variety of pain and other problems e.g. period symptoms, migraines, intermittent psychological difficulties, etc. See too the 'background' suggestions for use sheet.
Four day pain diary - Jensen's work suggests that 12 pain ratings - 3 daily for 4 days - is often a good way of balancing getting an adequate number or ratings with not burdening chronic pain sufferers (and clinicians) with unnecessary data collection. This has probably been the pain diary I have used most frequently.
One day pain diary - I occasionally have used this more fine-grained one day diary to look at hour to hour variations in pain.
One week pain diary - sometimes useful, for example if there seems a difference between weekend and weekday ratings.
Two week pain diary - I include this for completeness, but I probably used this two week diary least frequently over the years.
Pain diagrams, head, front & back - getting pain sufferers to draw/colour in where they feel pain or other unpleasant sensations e.g numbness, burning, etc, can be hugely useful in understanding and helping their difficulties.
Oswestry disability questionnaire - classic low back pain assessment questionnaire that's been around for many years.
Northwick Park neck questionnaire - neck pain questionnaire, somewhat of the Oswestry style.
Copenhagen neck questionnaire - good neck pain disability questionnaire.
Shoulder disability questionnaire - "as it says on the tin", a questionnaire to assess and monitor shoulder disability.
Low back pain, general information - I wrote this information sheet a good few years ago now, but it is still contains much that is of potential use.
Fear-avoidance & CBT approach for catastrophising - four Powerpoint slides on pain fear-avoidance loops and CBT approaches that may help.
Migraine & headache, general information - as with the low back pain information sheet (see above), I wrote this a number of years ago - but it still contains much that's of use.
Migraine & sleep hygiene - fascinating study showing major reductions in migraine duration & frequency by targeting sleep improvement. Well worth considering!
Coping with persistent pain CD - this is a recording I made quite a while ago. Again it still has some useful ideas on it. It is marketed via the charity, the British Holistic Medical Association.