Front. Pain Res.

Assessing Pain Research: A Narrative Review of Emerging Pain Methods, Their Technosocial Implications, and Opportunities for Multidisciplinary Approaches

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Pain research traverses many disciplines and methodologies. Yet, despite our understanding and field-wide acceptance of the multifactorial essence of pain as a sensory perception, emotional experience, and biopsychosocial condition, pain scientists and practitioners often remain siloed within their domain expertise and associated techniques. The context in which the field finds itself today—with increasing reliance on digital technologies, an on-going pandemic, and continued disparities in pain care—requires new collaborations and different approaches to measuring pain. Here, we review the state-of-the-art in human pain research, summarizing emerging practices and cutting-edge techniques across multiple methods and technologies. For each, we outline foreseeable technosocial considerations, reflecting on implications for standards of care, pain management, research, and societal impact. Through overviewing alternative data sources and varied ways of measuring pain and by reflecting on the concerns, limitations, and challenges facing the field, we hope to create critical dialogues, inspire more collaborations, and foster new ideas for future pain research methods.


02 Jun 2022


Front. Pain Res.