Efforts to standardize the reporting of pain

Robert L. Kane, Boris Bershadsky, Wen Chieh Lin, Todd H Rockwood, Kirkham Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


In an effort to develop a method for standardizing patients' reports of pain intensity, we tested seven different approaches to employing patients' ratings of four consistent types of pain as a means of correcting their reports (the average of the four standard pain measures, the average of the greater pains-finger in a door and tooth drilling, the average of the lesser pains-blister and leg cramp, the predicted back pain VAS from a regression of the standard pains, a conversion to the same scale based on population mean, the difference between individual mean and population mean of the four standard pain measures, and the difference between individual range and population range of the four standard pain measures). None of the adjustments proved to be a substantial improvement over the unstandardized approach. The best adjuster was the approach that used the average of the greater pain scores.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-110
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002


  • Pain assessment
  • Pain reporting
  • Standardized measures


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