The Assessment of Acute Pain in Pre-Hospital Care Using Verbal Numerical Rating and Visual Analogue Scales

Ahmad Khaldun Ismail, Muhammad A. Abdul Ghafar, Noor S.haza A. Shamsuddin, Nurul A. Roslan, Hilwani Kaharuddin, Nik Azlan Nik Muhamad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Prehospital care (PHC) pain evaluation is an essential patient assessment to be performed by paramedics. Pain intensity is frequently assessed using Verbal Numerical Rating Scale (VNRS) or Visual Analog Scale (VAS).

OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to evaluate the agreement between VNRS and VAS in measuring acute pain in prehospital setting and to identify the preference among paramedics and patients.

METHODS: This was a 3-month cross-sectional study. Convenience sampling was used to enroll patients with acute pain responded to by the ambulance team. Data from consented patients were analyzed using Bland-Altman method, Spearman's correlation test, and Cohen's κ test.

RESULTS: One hundred and thirty-three patients participated in this study (median age 32 years; 72.2% male). The median for pain score at the scene was 7.50 (interquartile range [IQR]: 5.00) for VAS and 7.00 (IQR: 5.00) for VNRS. The median for pain score on arrival at the hospital was 7.00 (IQR: 3.10) for VAS and 7.00 (IQR: 4.00) for VNRS. There was a strong correlation between VNRS and VAS at the scene (r = 0.865; p < 0.001), as well as on arrival at the hospital (r = 0.933; p < 0.001). Kappa coefficient values and Bland-Altman analysis indicates good agreement between both scales for measuring acute pain. VNRS was the preferred method to measure acute pain by patients and paramedics.

CONCLUSIONS: VAS performs as well as VNRS in assessing acute pain in PHC. VAS and VNRS must not be used interchangeably to assess acute pain; either method should be used consistently.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-293
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of emergency medicine
Volume49
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2015

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Acute Pain
Visual Analog Scale
Allied Health Personnel
Pain
Ambulances
Cross-Sectional Studies

Keywords

  • emergency
  • pain score
  • prehospital care
  • Verbal Numerical Rating Scale
  • Visual Analog Scale

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine

Cite this

The Assessment of Acute Pain in Pre-Hospital Care Using Verbal Numerical Rating and Visual Analogue Scales. / Ismail, Ahmad Khaldun; Abdul Ghafar, Muhammad A.; Shamsuddin, Noor S.haza A.; Roslan, Nurul A.; Kaharuddin, Hilwani; Nik Muhamad, Nik Azlan.

In: The Journal of emergency medicine, Vol. 49, No. 3, 01.09.2015, p. 287-293.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ismail, Ahmad Khaldun ; Abdul Ghafar, Muhammad A. ; Shamsuddin, Noor S.haza A. ; Roslan, Nurul A. ; Kaharuddin, Hilwani ; Nik Muhamad, Nik Azlan. / The Assessment of Acute Pain in Pre-Hospital Care Using Verbal Numerical Rating and Visual Analogue Scales. In: The Journal of emergency medicine. 2015 ; Vol. 49, No. 3. pp. 287-293.
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AU - Kaharuddin, Hilwani

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