Pain measurement: a comparison using horizontal and vertical visual analogue scales

Appl Nurs Res. 2000 Aug;13(3):157-8. doi: 10.1053/apnr.2000.7658.


The McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ) is widely used in assessing a variety of pain problems. MPQ has been found to be sensitive enough to detect differences in pain relief and differences between acute and chronic pain. It requires, however, 5 to 10 minutes to administer. Because of this time factor, the Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire (SF-MPQ) was developed. A visual analogue scale (VAS) was not included in the original MPQ but is part of the SF-MPQ. Studies addressing the best way to present a VAS suggest that a vertical line is easier for patients to see; however, the VAS on the SF-MPQ is a horizontal line. This study examined the relationship between SF-MPQ scores with both the horizontal and vertical VAS.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement / methods*
  • Pain Measurement / statistics & numerical data
  • Reproducibility of Results