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FIG. 32-2. Numeric rating scale.

The VAS is a 10-cm linear scale marked at one end with a term like no pain and at the other with worst imaginable pain (Fig. 32-3). The patient places a mark on the line at the point that best represents the pain. The VAS scale is scored by measuring the distance of the patient's mark from either end. The VAS has been validated, 7 but debate continues over the clinical relevance of statistically significant differences in VAS scores. 8 A disadvantage of the VAS is that it requires visual, manual, and some conceptual skill.

FIG. 32-3. Visual analogue scale.

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