Video Tutorial

How to collect data
with Pain2D

Pain2D-Tablet and Pain2D-Tool enables a fast and simple data collection (pain areas on pain drawings) for research purposes. Watch our Video on how to collect data or read the tutorial below.

How to collect data

This tutorial is about how to acquire data from patients and import the pen-and-paper pain drawings in your Pain2D-Tool.

Before you start, please download Pain2D-Software and note the requirements of the program. For further information please see Download.

Table of contents

Printing template pain drawings

Unzip the template-files you exported from Pain2D-Designer and open the contained “painDrawingTemplate.pdf”.

Click on the button print in your pdf-viewing-software and select how many sheets you would like to print.


If you didn’t created a template pain drawing in the past please create one with Pain2D-Designer.


Since most printing dialogues have a scaling preset of 97% make sure that the size is set to 100% or “actual size”.  The pain drawing must be printed in its original size and shouldn’t be scaled. Please note that not every PDF Software offers this option in the print menu. If you can´t find this option in the menu, please consider using another pdf tool.

Please use only a DIN-A4 PAPER.

After printing your empty pain drawings, make sure that the indicators were printed in solid black and not just grey. If they aren’t black print them again with your black printing link restocked.

Handing out template pain drawings


 If you just want to research about any kind of pain, every patient only needs one pain drawing. The programs later will just distinguish between “pain” or “no pain”.






If you like to distinguish between different types of pain for one disease, every patient needs to fill out a separate pain drawing for each type of pain.






If you use Pain2D-Tablet version for the data collection, you don’t need to print your template pain drawing at all. For more information about the tablet version please consider watching the Tutorial on how to use Pain2D-Tablet.


Now hand out the printed pain drawings to all patients who have the diagnosted disease you’d like to research.

How to mark pain points?


The patient needs to mark the areas or spots of pain in the human outlines. For this purpose, you must use a black marker.

Do not use:

  • highlighters,
  • ballpens,
  • or lead pencils.


Make sure that the pain areas are marked properly. Do not draw beyond the outer lines and only mark spots by fully painting the whole area.

Do not use:

  • crosses,
  • encircle
  • dots

to mark the pain areas.

When the patient has finished drawing ensure that nothing else, except the pain areas, is marked on the front page of the pain drawing. No comments or any other drawing. Also ensure that the indicators are not painted over.



Name pain drawings

Without pain types

 Because of data privacy reasons never write the actual patients name on the paper. In this example we wrote on the paper “EDS” which stands for Ehlers-Danlos-Syndrom and “003” standing for patient number 3.

Next turn around the page and label it accordingly to the following rules of pseudonymisation:

First write the abbreviation of the disease followed by an underscore and then by the patient number.



Keep in mind that the underscore is necessary for the software to process the files.

For the labelling of the back of the pain drawing please make sure to use a pencil or light pen so that you no marks are left on the front page which would lead to extraction errors.

With pain types

First write the abbreviation of the disease followed by an underscore and then by the  pain type followed again by an underscore and then the patient number.

EDS_beating_001 and EDS_burning_001 mean Patient 001 filled two pain drawings with the types beating and burning.

Do not use different colors to mark pain types. Only black markers are allowed.


For data privacy reasons it is recommended that this list is not saved digitally but in an inaccessible location like a safe in your office.


To keep track the patients and their pseudonymised number, make a list with the patients names and the drawing number associated with them.

Scanning pain drawings

Now all pain drawings must be scanned. Align each paper correctly on your scanner according to the A4-marks.

Choose the true colour option for scanning. A black and white scan cannot be processed by the application.

Do not rotate the paper in any way. If you scan a drawing wrong, the Pain2D-Tool will print an error and you’ll have to scan these drawings again. Safe all your files in a pdf format and name each file the name that is written on the back of the corresponding pain drawing sheet.

If you scanned a Pain drawing pseudonymised with EDS_001 on the back side of the paper please name the corresponding scanned file EDS_001.pdf

Also write the certain type of pain in the name if you distinguish between different pain types. If your scanner doesn’t have the option of naming the file in advance, label the scanned file right after scanning. Also, it’s important that you scan your pain drawings in pdf format since only pdf files can be processed by Pain2D-Tool.

Preparing the database

After scanning and renaming your pain drawings, create a new folder on your computer to save all your pain drawings. In that folder create two subfolders called JSON and PDF. In each of those, make another folder for every disease you like to analyse. If you distinguish between different pain types, add another folder for each pain type in the folder of the disease. If you don’t distinguish between different pain types you don’t need any subfolders in your Skripte disease folder. Make sure the file structure in your JSON folder is the same than the file structure in your PDF folder. Also note that the names of the disease folders and the pain type folders have to be the same than in the name of you scanned pdf-files. Now sort your files in the corresponding folders.

Possible errors while extracting points with Pain2D-Tool

When extracting the pain points, it may happen that pain drawings are not recognized. In this case a window appears with information about which pain drawings are affected.

Possible reasons for this could be:

• Wrong size settings were selected when printing

•The positions of the indicators were not recognized:

•When the pain drawing was scanned, it was laying rotated or shifted in the scanning device

•The printed pain chart is too pale

In those cases, you might have to redo the scanning on the affected files.


To get to know how to extract the marked pain points from pen-and-paper pain drawings please visit the Pain2D-Tool tutorial.


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Copyright © 2020, Natasza Szczypien and Frank Klawonn