Vitality - Healthy Aging NewsletterSpring 2011

Rate Your Pain's Impact

Do you experience chronic pain? If so, do you know where you fall on this scale?

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The Quality of Life Scale by the American Chronic Pain Association can help you gauge your pain by measuring your daily function. This information is a good starting point to help you and your health care team determine how to manage your pain most effectively, and measure your progress over time.

"This chart is especially useful to people who don't realize how much their chronic pain is affecting them," says Carol Hartley, MD, internist and local chief of Group Health Medical Centers Hospice and Palliative Care programs. “They may have lived with it for so long that they've given up certain activities. While it may not be possible to eradicate chronic pain completely, we can set goals that allow people to feel better and regain some control over their lives."

Quality of Life Scale: A Measure of Function

0 — Stay in bed all day. Feel hopeless and helpless about life.

1 — Stay in bed at least half the day. Have no contact with outside world.

2 — Get out of bed but don't get dressed. Stay at home all day.

3 —Get dressed in the morning. Do minimal activities at home. Contact with friends via phone or e-mail.

4 — Do simple chores around the house. Minimal activities outside of home two days a week.

5 — Struggle, but manage to fulfill daily home responsibilities. No outside activity. Not able to work or volunteer.

6 — Work or volunteer limited hours. Take part in limited social activities on weekends.

7 — Work or volunteer for a few hours daily. Can be active at least five hours a day. Can make plans to do simple activities on weekends.

8 — Work or volunteer for at least six hours daily. Have energy to make plans for one evening social activity during the week. Active on weekends.

9 — Work, volunteer, or otherwise active for eight hours daily. Take part in family life. Outside social activities limited.

10 — Go to work or volunteer each day. Normal daily activities each day. Have a social life outside of work. Take an active part in family life.


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