Monitoring electrical skin conductance: A tool for the assessment of postoperative pain in children?

Hullett, Bruce, Chambers, Neil, Preuss, James, Zamudio, Italo, Lange, Jonas, Pascoe, Elaine and Ledowski, Thomas (2009) Monitoring electrical skin conductance: A tool for the assessment of postoperative pain in children?. Anesthesiology, 111 3: 513-517. doi:10.1097/ALN.0b013e3181b27c18

Author Hullett, Bruce
Chambers, Neil
Preuss, James
Zamudio, Italo
Lange, Jonas
Pascoe, Elaine
Ledowski, Thomas
Title Monitoring electrical skin conductance: A tool for the assessment of postoperative pain in children?
Journal name Anesthesiology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0003-3022
Publication date 2009-09-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1097/ALN.0b013e3181b27c18
Open Access Status
Volume 111
Issue 3
Start page 513
End page 517
Total pages 5
Place of publication Philadelphia, PA, United States
Publisher Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: Monitoring changes in electrical skin conductance has been described as a potentially useful tool for the detection of acute pain in adults. The aim of this study was to test the method in pediatric patients.
Methods: A total of 180 postoperative pediatric patients aged 1–16 yr were included in this prospective, blinded observational study. After arrival in the recovery unit, pain was assessed by standard clinical pain assessment tools (1–3 yr: Face Legs Activity Cry Consolability Scale, 4–7 yr: Revised Faces Scale, 8–16 yr: Visual Analogue Scale) at various time points during their stay in the recovery room. The number of fluctuations in skin conductance per second (NFSC) was recorded simultaneously.
Results: Data from 165 children were used for statistical analysis, and 15 patients were excluded. The area under the Receiver Operating Characteristic curve for predicting moderate to severe pain from NFSC was 0.82 (95% confidence interval 0.79–0.85). Over all age groups, an NFSC cutoff value of 0.13 was found to distinguish between no or mild versus moderate or severe pain with a sensitivity of 90% and a specificity of 64% (positive predictive value 35%, negative predictive value 97%).
Conclusions: NFSC accurately predicted the absence of moderate to severe pain in postoperative pediatric patients. The measurement of NFSC may therefore provide an additional tool for pain assessment in this group of patients. However, more research is needed to prospectively investigate the observations made in this study and to determine the clinical applicability of the method.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Medicine Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 36 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 27 Jun 2012, 02:48:44 EST by Elaine Pascoe on behalf of Medicine - Princess Alexandra Hospital