The Mini Suffering State Exam (MSSE) is a relatively quick observational measure developed to assess pain for people with limited ability to communicate as well as the level of suffering a person may be in, which are associated with many late or end stage disease processes. The MSSE is composed of 10 items relating to the person’s characteristics, as well as the perception of his or her condition as interpreted by the clinician or caregiver. Each item is scored as either 0 (no) or 1 (yes) with totals ranging from 0 to 10. The MSSE can be completed in less than 10 minutes with higher scores reflecting higher degrees of suffering.
• Not calm
• Presence of decubitus ulcers
• Eating disorders
• Invasive actions
• Unstable medical condition
• Suffering according to medical opinion
• Suffering according to family opinion
Adapted from Aminoff, Z (2007). Mini-Suffering State Examination scale: Possible key criterion for 6-month survival and mortality of critically ill dementia patients. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care, 24(6), 472.