The Use Of Pain Assessment Tools In Clinical Practice: A Pilot Survey | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2167-0846

Journal of Pain & Relief
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Research Article

The Use Of Pain Assessment Tools In Clinical Practice: A Pilot Survey

Gregory J* and Richardson C
School of Nursing Midwifery and Social Work, University of Manchester, UK
Corresponding Author : Julie Gregory
Jean McFarlane Building
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work
University of Manchester, Oxford Road
Manchester, M13 9PL, UK
Tel: +44(0)161306
E-mail: [email protected]
Received January 17, 2014; Accepted March 16, 2014; Published March 18, 2014
Citation: Gregory J, Richardson C (2014) The Use of Pain Assessment Tools in Clinical Practice: A Pilot Survey. J Pain Relief 3:140. doi: 10.4172/2167-0846.1000140
Copyright: © 2014 Gregory J, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


The aim of this study was to identify which pain assessment tools are used in clinical practice. The recognition and assessment of pain is essential to ensure appropriate pain management. There are a number of pain assessment scales and tools available for healthcare professionals to assist patients describe and rate their pain intensity and to help clinicians assess pain, observe behaviours associated with pain and monitor the effectiveness of pain interventions. A short self-administered questionnaire survey of nursing staff was completed by nurses attending a pain management study day at the university and a pain meeting completed the questionnaire. Although no one pain assessment rating scale was used across all the healthcare organisations represented all the nurses indicated that they used one or a number of self-report pain assessment scales in their clinical practice. The Numerical Rating Scales and the Verbal Descriptor Scale were used by the majority of nurses. The use of behavioural pain assessment scales, such as the Abbey pain assessment scale, were used by 42% of the respondents This small survey indicates that verbal self-report pain assessment scales appear to be embedded into clinical practice, but the use of observational pain assessment tools for people with communication difficulties (including dementia) have not been adopted by the majority of organisations represented. This suggests that there is a need toincrease their use in everyday clinical practice. It is important that clinical staff are aware which pain assessment scale is used in their organisation to ensure consistency. Where different pain assessment scales are used for individual patients the scale chosen for an individual patient needs to be documented and communicated to all members of the health care team to ensure consistent use.