Quantitative sensory testing (QST) methods have become widely used for the assessment of nervous system sensitization to nociceptive signalling in studies of people with knee osteoarthritis (OA). However, few standardised QST protocols have been developed. Variability in their execution may lead to differences in their interpretation.
The proposed scoping review will seek to identify various QST methodologies being used in the assessment of sensitization and how sensitization is being defined in people with knee OA.
Methods and Analysis:
This scoping review will be guided by existing scoping review methodologies. Relevant studies will be extracted from the following electronic databases: Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online, ExcerptaMedica Database, Allied and Complementary Medicine Database and the Cumulative Index to Nursing Allied Health Literature. Independent screening of the abstracts and full articles and data extraction will be performed in pairs. Information extracted will focus on qualitative and quantitative data relevant to the content of the protocols from included studies. Data will be summarised in order to draw conclusions on the common elements used in QST protocols and definitions of sensitization for knee OA.
This scoping review will provide insight into the most common methods of QST used in the assessment of nociceptive signaling in people with knee OA. This will potentially identify areas where a systematic review or other primary research may be required in order to develop fixed evidence-based protocols for QST in patients with knee OA.