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December 11, 1967

Quantitating Abdominal Pain

JAMA. 1967;202(11):1055-1056. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130240097024

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To the Editor:—  In reply to the letter of J.V. Gilkey, MD, (202:152, 1967) in which he comments on my paper "Technique for Quantitating Abdominal Pain" (201:558, 1967) I would say that technically Dr. Gilkey is correct in his semantic argument.Pain may be defined as the subjective complaint of the patient, whereas tenderness is the pain the patient suffers when the physician applies pressure. However, I fail to understand the practical significance of this point, and it appears that Dr. Gilkey, is indeed, engaged in "an academic quibble." For that matter, we are not measuring pain or tenderness but the pressure which the physician must apply to elicit pain.Concerning his implication that the proposed technique is "potentially misleading," I would direct him again to my statement "obviously, this technique is not to be used to the exclusion of the usual methods of examining the abdomen, but