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.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0187961, hdl.handle.net/1765/103323
Journal PLoS ONE
Citation
Timmerman, H. (Hans), Steegers, M.A.H. (Monique A. H.), Huygen, F.J.P.M, Goeman, J.J, Van Dasselaar, N.T. (Nick T.), Schenkels, M.J. (Marcel 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). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0187961