Creating a new method to measure abdominal pain



Chronic abdominal pain of unknown origin affects approximately 20 percent of people in the U.S. and is the most common reason for outpatient medical visits. The short-form McGill Pain Questionnaire is the current standard in assessing pain, but its use is limited in young children who may struggle to understand the questionnaire’s word-based descriptors.


IRP researcher Wendy Henderson, Ph.D., and her team developed the Gastrointestinal Pain Pointer (GIPP), a new computerized tool for assessing abdominal pain severity that combines subjective scores with objective heart rate recordings. Patients use an interactive graphical interface to identify the location and intensity of their pain.


The GIPP has proven itself a valid and reliable instrument in both children and adults with abdominal pain, providing clinicians with a more integrated resource for pain assessment that includes location, intensity, and quality, along with physiologic parameters.


Henderson WA, Rahim-Williams B, Kim KH, Sherwin LB, Abey SK, Martino AC, Fourie NH, Heitkemper MM, Zuccolotto AP. (2010). Validation of the Gastrointestinal Pain Pointer (GIPP) as a Measure of Symptom Severity in Persons With Abdominal Pain. Gastroenterol Nurs. 138(5), S-478

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This page was last updated on Tuesday, August 8, 2023