Pain Assessment Tools

Self-report tools are the mainstay of pain assessment. These tools should be reliable, valid, and easy for the patient and health care provider to use in the ED environment. The ideal tool should be applicable to any individual regardless of psychological, emotional, cultural, cognitive, or developmental status.

The adjective rating scale (ARS) is a simple, descriptive pain-intensity scale presented graphically or verbally as a linear list of pain descriptors ( Fig 32-1). A 10-cm baseline is recommended.1

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