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Do you see my pain?

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copyright AW EMB

copyright AW EMB


It is important to detect pain quickly and to assess it accurately. A reliable and validated scoring method was recently developed to measure pain experienced by adults with PIMD: the Pain Observation Scale for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities (POSAID). A healthcare worker observes the adult with PIMD for 2 minutes, scoring the seven items on the scale as present or absent.

Benefits to practice

Healthcare workers will be equipped with a tool they can use to detect and assess pain in adults with PIMD.


It is not yet clear whether the POSAID seven-item scale is sensitive enough to make it possible to identify subtle differences in the pain being experienced. We are currently engaged in a project focused on considering other scoring methods, with the aim of optimizing the psychometric qualities of the POSAID.

Voor de praktijk

Zorgprofessionals krijgen een tool omhanden waarmee zij pijn kunnen signaleren en beoordelen bij volwassenen met EMB. 


Annemieke Enninga legt in haar vlog uit waar ze mee bezig is en waar ze naar op zoek is: 

About the researcher

Read more about Annemieke Enninga

Annemieke Enninga

PhD student
Rijksuniversiteit Groningen

What is your role within the Academic Collaborative Centre related to people with PIMD?

I am conducting doctoral research into adequate pain recognition in adults with PIMD. Previous research resulted in the development of a pain measurement tool specifically for this target group, the POSAID. The aim of our follow-up research is to improve the reliability and validity of the POSAID.

What do you hope to achieve?

My hope is that the prompt recognition and treatment of pain will become an integral part of the day-to-day support offered to people with PIMD, which would constitute a significant improvement in their quality of life.