A comparison of pain-assessment tools for use with elderly long-term-care residents.
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The purpose of this study was to examine the psychometric properties (test-retest and interrater reliability, criterion concurrent validity) of 3 verbal pain-assessment tools (Faces Pain Scale, Numerical Rating Scale, Present Pain Intensity Scale) and a behavioural pain-assessment scale for use with an elderly population. The study used a repeated-measures design to examine the reliability and validity of the tools across 4 groups of participants with varying levels of cognitive impairment using a non-random stratified sample of 130 elderly long-term-care residents. The findings support the test-retest and interrater reliability of the behavioural pain-assessment tool across all levels of cognitive impairment, whereas the same measures of reliability for the verbal-report tools decreased with increasing cognitive impairment; however, the majority of elderly with mild to moderate cognitive impairment were able to complete at least 1 of these tools. The findings are discussed in relation to their clinical and research implications.
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