Comparison of pupillometer, critical care pain observation scale, and vital findings in the evaluation of pain in intensive care patients without oral communication

Agri. 2023 Apr;35(2):53-62. doi: 10.14744/agri.2021.72246.


Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of portable infrared Pupillometer, Critical Care Pain Observation Scale (CPOT), and vital sign changes during painful procedures on patients with mechanical ventilators in the intensive care unit (ICU), and comparing the efficacy of these methods to detect the presence of pain.

Methods: In 50 patients who could not verbally state pain, admitted to Necmettin Erbakan University Meram Faculty of Medicine ICU, aged 18-75 years, and connected to a mechanical ventilator, vital sign changes, CPOT scale assessments, and pain evaluation with a portable infrared pupillometer were performed during endotracheal aspiration and position changes, which are defined as painful stimuli.

Results: Data were collected from 50 patients with a mean age of 57.4±17.9 years and 48% of males. The systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial pressure and heart rate values, CPOT scores, and pupillometric measurements of the patients increased significantly at the time of aspiration and change of position (p<0.05). Neurological pupil index scores showed a significant decrease at the time of painful stimulation (p<0.05).

Conclusion: It was found that pupil diameter changes evaluated using a portable infrared pupillometric measuring device can be used effectively and reliably in pain assessment in patients who are treated in the ICU, supported by mechanical ventilation and who cannot communicate verbally.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Communication
  • Critical Care* / methods
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / diagnosis
  • Pain Measurement / methods