Skin conductance measurement as pain assessment tool: systematic review

Aim In current metanalysis we included clinical trials which was performed estimations of skin conductance(SC) changes amongst patients who underwent discomfort and painfull procedures.

Bacground According to some scientific literature  [1-4] response to pain stimulus can be related to activity of sympathetic system and measured using evaluation of skin conductance(SC). Surgical inverventions provokes simpatomimethic response[5] to pain. During invasive procedures due to discomfort of patients, changes in skin resistance can be observed[6] while other studies reveals significant skin conductance changes during induction of aneshtesia[5]. Generally skin resistance measurment is defined as an objective tool to evaluate discomfort in invasive procedures[6]. Perioperative[5] stress could be measured by sympathetic nervous system(SNS) and skin conductance monitoring.

Conclusions Combining SC and electromyography(EMG) settings allows researchers to observe and identify live threatening emotional conditions for patients[7]. Clinical trials with galvanic skin response (GSR) and SC measurements uses new settings like frequencies and localizations by placing electrodes directly on fingers in comparison with placing electrodes through clothes[8]. Every response to pain stimulus can differ[4] depending on individual basis. SC output variables are used in several different indices and suggests SC as reliable tool to assess or even differentiate pain stimulus[9,  10].

Keywords: metanalysis, pain, anesthesia.