Pain scale

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A pain scale measures a patient's pain intensity or other features. Pain scales are based on self-report, observational (behavioral), or physiological data. Self-report is considered primary and should be obtained if possible (since pain is a quale by definition, and therefore assessment based on any set scale of expected outcomes from similar cases can fail to provide useful clinical data. Pain scales are available for neonates, infants, children, adolescents, adults, seniors, and persons whose communication is impaired. Pain scores are sometimes regarded as "the Fifth Vital Sign."

Examples of pain scales
InfantPremature Infant Pain Profile; Neonatal/Infant Pain Scale
ChildFaces Pain Scale - Revised;[1] Wong-Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale; Coloured Analogue Scale[2]FLACC (Face Legs Arms Cry Consolability Scale); CHEOPS (Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Pain Scale)[3]Comfort
AdultNumerical Rating Scale (NRS-11, NRS-101); Visual Analog Scale; Brief Pain Inventory


Partial list of pain measurement scales

Specialized tests

Numeric Rating Scale

The Numeric Rating Scale (NRS-11) is an 11–point scale for patient self-reporting of pain. It is for adults and children 10 years old or older.[32]

RatingPain Level
0No Pain
1 – 3Mild Pain (nagging, annoying, interfering little with ADLs)
4 – 6Moderate Pain (interferes significantly with ADLs)
7 – 10Severe Pain (disabling; unable to perform ADLs)

See also


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