The formal assessment of pain is important to initiate and evaluate the effectiveness of pain treatments. Assessment subjectivity is reduced by using an assessment tool. Two types of pain assessment tools are available, âself-reportâ and âobservational or behaviouralâ for people who cannot self-report. A number of behavioural pain assessment tools have been devised for people who canât self-report pain i.e. critical care patients and people with dementia. For example the Critical Care Pain Observation Tool [CPOT], was devised using 105 Intensive Care patients. It consists of four items and scores range from 0-8.
There are a number of observational pain assessment tools available to assist clinicians to recognise and assess pain that were not used in clinical practice according to the nurses completing the survey. There is a need to identify which of these assessment tools is appropriate for individual organisations and to increase their use in everyday clinical practice.
Julie Gregory, The Use of Pain Assessment Tools in Clinical Practice: A Pilot Survey
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Last date updated on June, 2014