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, 87 (3), 400-5

Cross-validation of a Composite Pain Scale for Preschool Children Within 24 Hours of Surgery

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Cross-validation of a Composite Pain Scale for Preschool Children Within 24 Hours of Surgery

S Suraseranivongse et al. Br J Anaesth.

Abstract

This study was designed to cross-validate a composite measure of the pain scales CHEOPS (Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Pain Scale), OPS (Objective Pain Scale, simplified for parent use by replacing blood pressure measurement with observation of body language or posture), TPPPS (Toddler Preschool Postoperative Pain Scale) and FLACC (Face, Legs, Activity, Cry, Consolability) in 167 Thai children aged 1-5.5 yr. The pain scales were translated and tested for content, construct and concurrent validity, including inter-rater and intra-rater reliabilities. Discriminative validity in immediate and persistent pain for the age groups < or =3 and >3 yr were also studied. The children's behaviour was videotaped before and after surgery, before analgesia had been given in the post-anaesthesia care unit (PACU), and on the ward. Four observers then rated pain behaviour from rearranged videotapes. The decision to treat pain was based on routine practice and was made by a researcher unaware of the rating procedure. All tools had acceptable content validity and excellent inter-rater and intra-rater reliabilities (intraclass correlation >0.9 and >0.8 respectively). Construct validity was determined by the ability to differentiate the group with no pain before surgery and a high pain level after surgery, before analgesia (P<0.001). The positive correlations among all scales in the PACU and on the ward (r=0.621-0.827, P<0.0001) supported concurrent validity. Use of the kappa statistic indicated that CHEOPS yielded the best agreement with the routine decision to treat pain. The younger and older age groups both yielded very good agreement in the PACU but only moderate agreement on the ward. On the basis of data from this study, we recommend CHEOPS as a valid, reliable and practical tool.

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