The S-LANSS score for identifying pain of predominantly neuropathic origin: validation for use in clinical and postal research

M. Bennett, Blair Hamilton Smith, Nicola Torrance, J. Potter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

488 Citations (Scopus)


This article describes the development and validation of the S-LANSS score, a self-report version of the Leeds Assessment of Neuropathic Symptoms and Signs pain scale. The S-LANSS aims to identify pain of predominantly neuropathic origin, as distinct from nociceptive pain, without the need for clinical examination. Two hundred patients with chronic pain were asked to complete the S-LANSS unaided. A researcher then administered the S-LANSS scale and the Neuropathic Pain Scale (NPS) in interview format. An independent clinician determined the pain type (neuropathic versus nociceptive) and rated his or her certainty about diagnosis. The S-LANSS scale was also incorporated into a chronic pain questionnaire that was sent to 160 community patients and 150 newly referred patients waiting for pain clinic assessment. The S-LANSS scale correctly identified 75% of pain types when self-completed and 80% when used in interview format. Sensitivity for self-completed S-LANSS scores ranged from 74% to 78%, depending on the cutoff score. There were significant associations between NPS items and total score with S-LANSS score. In the postal survey, completed questionnaires were returned by 57% of patients (n = 174). Internal consistency and convergent validity of the survey S-LANSS scores were confirmed. The findings support the S-LANSS scale as a valid and reliable self-report instrument for identifying neuropathic pain and it is also acceptable for use in postal survey research.

Perspective: Establishing valid measures of symptoms and signs in neuropathic pain will allow standardized comparisons with other investigational measures. This might lead to new insights into the relationship between pathophysiologic mechanisms and clinical manifestations of pain. (c) 2005 by the American Pain Society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-158
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pain
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005


  • neuropathic pain
  • validation
  • chronic pain
  • questionnaire
  • pain measurement
  • randomized controlled-trial
  • Leeds assessment
  • double-blind
  • scale
  • symptoms
  • signs
  • definition
  • gabapentin
  • cancer


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