Pain and Discomfort Associated with Common Hospital Procedures and Experiences Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • To determine whether reliable and valid rankings of pain and discomfort resulting from hospital procedures encountered by advanced dementia patients could be developed from interviews with cognitively intact adults, rankings of pain and discomfort resulting from 16 common procedures were obtained from two samples of hospitalized, nondemented adults using ten- (N = 100) and five- (N = 35) point numeric rating scales (NRS). Reliability was assessed by having 30 additional subjects complete ten-point NRS representing the ten most frequent procedures in a re-arranged order. By repeated measure analysis of variance, the scales discriminated between procedures (F = 35.1, P < 0.001). Subjects could discriminate between pain and discomfort (F = 21.6, P < 0.001). The five-point NRS exhibited better subject discrimination between experiences. Reliability was also acceptable. A five-point NRS produced reliable and valid pain and discomfort rankings for 16 common hospital procedures and experiences. These rankings should prove useful in reducing suffering and can serve as surrogates for quantifying pain and discomfort in dementia patients.

publication date

  • February 1998