Talk:Pain scale

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I've trimmed out a lot of the pain scales - I tried to leave only referenced scales that had pubmed sources, and only sources that were 'validations' rather than just mentioning the scale was used. Notable and widely-used scales should be validated in peer-reviewed journals in some way, while the ones that are only used by a couple doctors or hospitals probably shouldn't be here. Of course, it's a tricky subject and call to make, and I could have made errors. All the {{verify}} bullets I searched on pubmed and google scholar for a relevant article and removed the ones that didn't seem to have one. WLU (talk) 16:47, 26 May 2008 (UTC)


Need to add the copyright notices for the Wong-Baker FACES scale.

For FPS-R: Copyright in the FPS-R is held by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) © 2001. This material may be photocopied for non-commercial clinical and research use. To request permission from IASP to reproduce the FPS-R in a publication, or for any commercial use, please e-mail

The FPS-R should be reproduced on this page (its use is more contemporary).

For the original Wong-Baker scale (the one shown): Wong, DL, Hockenberry-Eaton M, Wilson D, Winkelstein ML, Schwartz P: Wong's Essentials of Pediatric Nursing, ed. 6, St. Louis, 2001, p.1301. Copyrighted by Mosby, Inc.

While fair use (US) doctrine likely applies, Mosby should be contacted for permission to reprint.

Absolute vs. Relative Rating[edit]

This article should comment on an essential problem with self-ratings of pain by cognitively competent adults.

Because pain is subjective, absolute intensity of pain cannot be described by a person. What is operationally more useful is a patient's ranking of a combination of intensity of suffering and of impact on function relative to prior experiences with pain. The impact of events upon pain level can then be quantified by comparing a new report with a prior one: for example, pain that formerly demanded notice most of the time but that did not substantially interfere with ability to focus on other matters may have increased to being a major distraction or may have decreased to nuisance-level. This approach is self-calibrating, adjusting the patient's report for cultural, gender and personal attitudes and styles. Somehow this concept should be reflected in the article.Myron (talk) 15:35, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

I agree with your comment, and think you should probably incorporate it in the article. However, there is a second way for clinicians to have an insight into the subjective pain suffered by a patient, and that's through the self-assessment of relief caused by different anaesthetics. As I introduced in the article, pain is a qualia; but even when that notion has a direct impact on whether a pain scale can be valid, it has no consequence whatsoever on the medical practices. I think if both your paragraph and mine are combined, the page will provide more information along with a broader scope of notions that need to be taken into consideration. I dare not edit the page since I'm no doctor; but I'm a researcher in state-of-the-art medical technologies, I deal with doctors and patients on a daily basis, and I think I have at least a minor (maybe tiny) grasp on the subject. Maybe the whole conversation should be revised by an expert.

Jordissim (talk) 22:28, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

Self-test confusing in cultural & gender role context[edit]

Could someone possibly write out the treatments administered by US emergency rooms and hospitals in response to a "rate your pain from 1 to 10" self-test? Having unfortunately ended up in hospitals and ERs way more often than I would like, I have personally noticed that American doctors and nurses seem to expect exaggeration of pain, while my own Eastern European culture and the accompanying machismo&devil-may-care attitude lead to far lower self-estimates. Results? As a teenager, I had been released twice after surgery in a barely-conscious haze of pain, throwing up and passing out all the time, and never really complained, because I had the expectation that it was as it was supposed to be (I mean, getting your gut opened up has gotta hurt, right?!). Then, as a young adult, I had the dubious pleasure of yet another major surgery, and this time, I tried giving them the answers I'd expect a young American to give for my pain levels. Result? Only started feeling minor discomfort on day two at home, once whatever they IVed me with wore off entirely. Felt like a human being, walked around instead of crawling around, slept nearly normally, and even felt guilty for missing work for an entire week. Aadieu (talk) 16:47, 25 December 2009 (UTC)