Definition of Dol

Dol: A unit of measurement of pain. The term dol was invented by James Hardy and his research colleagues Herbert Wolff and Helen Goodell at Cornell University where from 1950 to 1959, they carried out pioneering experiments on pain. Hasrdy, Wolff and Goodell used precisely calibrated radiant heat directed to the foreheads or hands of trained experimental subjects. They asked the subjects to report each "just noticeable difference" in the intensity of pain they experienced, and graphed their responses on the "dol" scale, in which one dol equals two "just noticeable differences." The graphs showed the effectiveness of different analgesics in relieving the pain, and the physiologic responses with different intensities of pain. From the Latin word for pain, dolor.


Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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