Development and validation of a nurse-assessed patient comfort score for colonoscopy

Gastrointest Endosc. 2013 Feb;77(2):255-61. doi: 10.1016/j.gie.2012.10.003.


Background: Comfort during colonoscopy is a critical component of safety and quality.

Objective: To develop and validate the Nurse-Assessed Patient Comfort Score (NAPCOMS).

Design: Prospective scale validation.

Setting: Colorectal cancer screening centers in the United Kingdom and Canada.

Patients: A total of 300 consecutive patients undergoing colonoscopy at participating colorectal cancer screening centers.

Intervention: The NAPCOMS was developed by using a modified Delphi process. During colonoscopy, two endoscopy room nurses independently observed and rated patient comfort and tolerability by using NAPCOMS. In addition, endoscopists reported global comfort scores and patients' reported global comfort by using visual 4-point Likert and National Health Service-United Kingdom Global Rating Scales.

Main outcome measurements: Reliability and validity of NAPCOMS was measured by using intraclass correlations (ICC) between nurse ratings of colonoscopies and between NAPCOMS, endoscopist ratings, and patient ratings of global comfort.

Results: The ICC for the overall NAPCOMS was 0.84 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.80-0.87). There was high agreement between the NAPCOMS and endoscopist ratings of comfort (ICC = 0.77; 95% CI, 0.72-0.81), moderate agreement between the NAPCOMS and patient ratings (ICC = 0.61; 95% CI, 0.53-0.67), and moderate agreement between the endoscopist and patient ratings (ICC = 0.52; 95% CI, 0.43-0.60).

Limitations: NAPCOMS was validated in outpatients who received colonoscopy with minimal to moderate sedation as part of a screening and surveillance program, so performance among inpatients or those requiring deep sedation was not tested.

Conclusion: NAPCOMS is a reliable and valid tool for assessing patient comfort in the setting of outpatient colonoscopy performed with minimal to moderate sedation.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Colonoscopy / adverse effects
  • Colonoscopy / nursing*
  • Delphi Technique
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / diagnosis
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain / nursing*
  • Pain Measurement / nursing*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Young Adult