Validation of the S-LANSS in the community setting

Toby N. Weingarten, James C. Watson, W. Michael Hooten, Peter C. Wollan, L. Joseph Melton, Adam J. Locketz, Gilbert Y. Wong, Barbara P. Yawn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The Self-Administered Leeds Assessment of Neuropathic Symptoms and Signs (S-LANSS), an assessment tool to determine if pain is predominantly neuropathic, has not been validated in a community setting. Previously identified residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota, with chronic pain were recruited using a stratified randomization process to increase the frequency of neuropathic pain in the study sample. Subjects completed the S-LANSS in mailed and telephone formats, and underwent clinical assessment to determine if a component of their pain was neuropathic. Sensitivity and specificity of the S-LANSS as compared to the clinical assessment were determined. Two hundred and five subjects participated in the study. Eighty-three subjects (40%) had a positive S-LANSS score in the mailed, as did 59 of 173 (34%) in the telephone format, with little inter-subject difference in scores (p = 0.57). Clinical assessment identified a component of neuropathic pain in 37% of the sample (75/205). Compared to clinical assessment, sensitivity and specificity in the mailed S-LANSS were 57% (95% CI, 46-69%) and 69% (95% CI, 61-77%), respectively, and in the telephone S-LANSS were 52% (95% CI, 39-64%) and 78% (95% CI, 68-85%), respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of the S-LANSS in both formats were lower than the initial S-LANSS validation study. Differences in survey format and subject population could account for these differences, suggesting that the S-LANSS is best suited as a screening tool and its use to determine the prevalence of neuropathic pain in population studies should be viewed cautiously.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-194
Number of pages6
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Nov 2007


  • Neuropathic pain
  • Questionnaire
  • Validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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