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Article

The Total Neuropathy Score: A Tool for Measuring Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy

Ellen M. Lavoie Smith
Susan L. Beck
Jeffrey Cohen
ONF 2008, 35(1), 96-102 DOI: 10.1188/08.ONF.96-102

Purpose/Objectives: To describe the psychometric properties, clinical significance, and utility of the Total Neuropathy Score (TNS), a composite measurement tool used to assess chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN).

Data Sources: Published articles and abstracts and pertinent article references.

Data Synthesis: CIPN has been quantified inadequately because of the lack of an optimal measurement tool. The TNS is the most comprehensive composite tool to have been tested in oncology settings. The tool assesses neuropathy signs and symptoms and incorporates nerve conduction study results but inadequately assesses neuropathy-related pain severity. Seven studies have reported on the TNS's psychometric properties.

Conclusions: Initial but limited evidence supports the TNS's psychometric properties. The tool is too burdensome and inadequately assesses pain severity. Further revision and testing of the tool are recommended.

Implications for Nursing: TNS simplification and further psychometric testing could lead to future use by oncology nurses.

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