Skip to main content

IASP Neuropathic Pain Special Interest Group (NeuPSIG) Virtual Seminar: How Mixed Methods Research Could Improve the Interpretation of Quantitative Sensory Testing Results

Thank you

Thank you for attending today's virtual seminar. We hope you enjoyed our event.


Please note that this webinar was originally scheduled for September, but has been rescheduled for December 1.

If you have registered for this webinar, please ensure you are logged in before proceeding to the live webinar. The log in appears in the top right corner. You will see your name displayed if you are already logged in.

  • PRF webinars are a complimentary IASP member benefit. If you are an IASP member, please log in using your IASP credentials, and register for this webinar for free.
  • If you are a nonmember and would like to access the webinar, the fee is USD $25. Please click “Add to Cart” to pay the fee and register. You will be asked to create a nonmember IASP account. If interested in joining IASP as a member, information on joining is included in the “Become an IASP Member” tab above. Questions about IASP membership can be directed to

The IASP Neuropathic Pain Special Interest Group (NeuPSIG) will host a webinar featuring:

Martine Bordeleau, PhD, Université de Sherbrooke, Canada
Using qualitative fieldnotes as a step towards the development of a new mixed methods approach for quantitative sensory testing.

Fiona Webster, PhD Western University, Canada
An introduction to mixed methods in pain research.

Miroslav Bačkonja, MD, University of Washington, US
Pitfalls of quantitative sensory testing.

Jan Vollert, PhD, Imperial College London, UK (Moderator)

A Q & A/discussion will follow the presentations.

See the "Abstracts" tab above for a description of the talks.


  • Fiona Webster, PhD

    Dr. Webster is a sociologist and Associate Professor in the Labatt Family School of Nursing at Western University and holds a cross appointment with the Institute of Health Policy Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, where she is an Academic Fellow with the Centre for Critical Qualitative Health Research (CQ). She trained in an approach known as institutional ethnography. She has successfully led many interdisciplinary research teams and is currently principal investigator of two nationally funded (CIHR) studies to explore the social organization of care for people with lived experience of chronic pain and marginalization. By turning a sociological eye to the challenges of providing chronic pain care within parameters currently delineated by the Canadian health care system, her aim is to identify structural and ideological components of contemporary health care that might be amenable to change.

  • Martine Bordeleau, PhD

    Dr. Bordeleau is a postdoctoral researcher at Université de Sherbrooke (Québec, Canada). One of her main areas of interest is to improve sensory evaluation methods by involving the research community. Her postdoctoral project will foster and promote collaborations among international experts on quantitative sensory testing through the Sensory Evaluation Network.

  • Miroslav Bačkonja, MD

    Dr. Backonja conducted quantitative sensory testing (QST) for a couple of decades, making an effort to standardize the approach to conduct bedside-QST. His interest is in translating information obtained from QST into conclusions that would bring clinicians and researchers closer to underlying mechanisms that would guide treatment decisions.

  • Jan Vollert, PhD

    Dr. Jan Vollert is a bioinformatician with a PhD in Neurophysiology from the Medical Faculty Mannheim of the Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg, Germany. His research focuses on the application of statistical and computational models in pain research, mainly in Quantitative Sensory Testing. He has conducted analyses of quantitative sensory testing data of patients suffering from neuropathic pain that have been largely acknowledged in the field. He is a member of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) and its Neuropathic Pain Special Interest Group, where he works on public outreach and trainee representation. He was invited speaker at congresses of the IASP, the NeupSIG, and the European Pain Federation. He published over 50 peer-reviewed papers, and his h-index is 19.

Receive access to this IASP Pain Research Forum seminar with IASP membership. Become a member by clicking here.
Title: Pitfalls of quantitative sensory testing (Miroslav Bačkonja)

The primary outcomes of traditional QST have been threshold detection values. However, those values do not tell the complete story about the sensory modality that is being tested if the nature of the sensation at the threshold is not captured. A less frequently used QST approach of suprathreshold intensity rating relies on the control site in addition to normative data, and its process does capture qualitative information. In either case, incorporating qualitative information into QST will broaden the richness of data when describing pain.

Title: Using qualitative fieldnotes as a step towards the development of a new mixed methods approach for quantitative sensory testing (Martine Bordeleau)

Purpose: The collection of qualitative information, during the quantitative sensory testing (QST) procedure, could be an interesting way to facilitate the characterization of altered sensory perception and the identification of different pain phenotypes. The aims of this study were 1) to classify qualitative fieldnotes of sensory abnormalities collected during an independent QST study, and 2) to generate a qualitative interview guide that could be included in the traditional QST procedure as a step towards the implementation of a mixed methods approach. Patients and methods: QST data were collected from 48 chronic neuropathic pain patients treated with spinal cord stimulation (SCS). Three body areas, with or without SCS, were tested. After each trial of each QST modality, patients were encouraged to report any sensory abnormalities they could identify with a pain quality scale or using their own words. Results: Overall, 630 qualitative fieldnotes of altered sensations were collected. Based on these qualitative data, we propose a standardized method to collect qualitative data. Conclusion: Our findings have highlighted the value of qualitative sensory evaluation during QST and constitute an important milestone in the development of a mixed methods protocol in phenotyping research.

December 1, 2021
Wed 12:00 PM EST

Duration 1H 30M

This live web event has ended.

Event support