Validity of four pain intensity rating scales

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Liste des auteurs: Ferreira-Valente, MA
Pais-Ribeiro JL
Jensen MP.
Editeur: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins
Année de publication: 2011
Journal: PAIN (0304-3959)
Numéro du volume: 152
Numéro de publication: 10
Page d'accueil: 2399
Dernière page: 2404
Nombre de pages: 6
ISSN: 0304-3959
eISSN: 1872-6623
Languages: Anglais-Royaume-Uni (EN-GB)


The Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), Numerical Rating Scale (NRS), Verbal
Rating Scale (VRS), and the Faces Pain Scale-Revised (FPS-R) are among
the most commonly used measures of pain intensity in clinical and
research settings. Although evidence supports their validity as measures
of pain intensity, few studies have compared them with respect to the
critical validity criteria of responsivity, and no experiment has
directly compared all 4 measures in the same study. The current study
compared the relative validity of VAS, NRS, VRS, and FPS-R for detecting
differences in painful stimulus intensity and differences between men
and women in response to experimentally induced pain. One hundred
twenty-seven subjects underwent four 20-second cold pressor trials with
temperature order counterbalanced across 1°C, 3°C, 5°C, and 7°C and
rated pain intensity using all 4 scales. Results showed statistically
significant differences in pain intensity between temperatures for each
scale, with lower temperatures resulting in higher pain intensity. The
order of responsivity was as follows: NRS, VAS, VRS, and FPS-R. However,
there were relatively small differences in the responsivity between
scales. A statistically significant sex main effect was also found for
the NRS, VRS, and FPS-R. The findings are consistent with previous
studies supporting the validity of each scale. The most support emerged
for the NRS as being both (1) most responsive and (2) able to detect sex
differences in pain intensity. The results also provide support for the
validity of the scales for use in Portuguese samples.


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