Three-Dimensional Pain Mapping

Period of Performance: 04/01/2009 - 03/31/2010


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Psychological Applications, LLC
South Pomfret, VT 05067
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The objective of this Phase I proposal is to evaluate a new pain assessment method referred to as Three- Dimensional Pain Mapping. Patients use a computer method to indicate the location, intensity and depth of their pain on a model of the human body. The model can be rotated by the patient in order to obtain the most advantageous viewpoints for marking pain. Animated graphics also offers a new means for the health provider to view the results of patient-reported pain assessments. A study is proposed to evaluate the test-retest reliability of Three-Dimensional Pain Mapping from the standpoint of 100 patients diagnosed with chronic pain, and by a subset of 50 patients who will employ the method on two occasions. The individuals will be recruited from among those who enter the pain management clinics at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center or at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Two roundtable discussions also will be held with physicians and nurses to determine the most appropriate graphical user interface for viewing the results provided by patients. During these meetings, examples of the assessment data will be taken from the subject sample tested with Three-Dimensional Pain Mapping. The goal of the roundtables is to help design the entries in an on-screen menu that will allow the health care provider to select aspects of the assessment results for evaluating the health status of patients. The market for assessment instruments in the field of pain management is large and could prove to be lucrative to the company that first offers a product with the features of Three-Dimensional Pain Mapping. The product will be a computer program that will be licensed by hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and private physician practices. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The objective of this project is to determine the reliability of a new computer method that allows patients to mark the location, intensity, and depth of pain on a three-dimensional model of the human body. The model can be rotated to obtain the most advantageous viewpoints for marking pain. The project also will convene two roundtable discussions of physicians and nurses to design a graphic user interface for the method.