Comparing visual-analog and numeric scales for assessing menstrual pain

Behav Med. 2002 Winter;27(4):179-81. doi: 10.1080/08964280209596043.


Measurements from visual-analog (VAS) and numeric scales were used to assess menstrual pain in a prevalence study of 1,387 women in Madrid, Spain. The data obtained from these 2 scales were compared to determine if significant differences existed between the 2 rating methods. Findings indicated that both scales are useful for assessing menstrual pain. A high degree of correlation was found between the 2 scales; larger rating differences were seen in only a small percentage of the sample. The numeric scale is easier and more convenient to use than the VAS and is recommended in epidemiologic and prevalence studies such as this one.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Dysmenorrhea / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement / methods*
  • Pain Measurement / standards*