Pain assessment instruments for use in the emergency department

Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2005 May;23(2):285-95. doi: 10.1016/j.emc.2004.12.002.


Each patient's pain experience is uniquely his or her own. Standardized pain assessment methodologies and procedures provide a window to this experience and constitute a necessary first step to our understanding of pain, in both clinical and research settings. All too often, emergency department pain assessment is cursory--performed more to satisfy regulatory requirements than to guide our therapies or evaluate our practices. This article provides information on a number of assessment techniques that are appropriate for clinical and research use. Their use should inform our practice and lead to continuous improvements in our management of pain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Emergency Medicine / methods*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Humans
  • North America
  • Pain / classification*
  • Pain / diagnosis*
  • Pain Measurement / instrumentation*
  • Pain Measurement / methods
  • Reproducibility of Results