Measurement of pain in children with self-reporting and behavioral assessment

Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1987 Aug;42(2):137-41. doi: 10.1038/clpt.1987.123.


There are several studies on the correlation of various pain-rating scales in adults but few such studies have been done on children. To gain information on the correlation of self-reporting pain scales (one verbal and two visual analog scales) with each other and with a scale based on behavioral assessment, we analyzed retrospectively the pain evaluations of 141 pediatric patients participating in our analgesic studies. Eighty-two patients were male and 59 were female. The ages ranged from 1.6 to 17.6 years. The patients were divided into three age groups. All pain-rating scales were correlated (P less than 0.001) with each other and they showed a good internal consistency. There were no differences in correlation coefficients between the age groups and the two sexes. Accordingly, any of the now-employed scales can be used in clinical analgesic studies in children on the condition that the child has comprehended the use of the scale during the preoperative visit.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child Behavior*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Pain / psychology
  • Pain Measurement*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Self-Assessment*