Table 1.

Summary of recommendations.

  • Pain should be reported directly by patients.

  • Global assessments of pain are preferable to assessment of multiple components of pain.

  • The effect on pain should be accompanied by presentation of treatment effects on other patient-important outcomes.

  • Individual trials should report the proportion of patients achieving a percentage reduction from baseline pain, a desirable pain state, and/or a combination of change and state.

  • Metaanalyses should convert all continuous measures for pain to a 10 cm/100 mm visual analog scale (VAS) for pain, report the pooled mean change, and the pooled mean change divided by the minimal (1 cm/10 mm), appreciable (2 cm/20 mm and 3 cm/30 mm), and substantial (5 cm/50 mm) difference in pain improvement.

  • To further increase interpretability, the pooled estimate on the VAS for pain should also be transformed to a binary outcome and expressed as a relative risk and risk difference using these same thresholds.