The construction of a pain intensity verbal rating scale in Chinese

Wai Yee Joanne CHUNG, C. H. WONG, Joseph C. S. YANG, Thomas K. S. WONG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Despite the growing interest of developing multidimensional scales, the use of unidimensional scales in assessing clinical pain is popular for its simplicity, efficiency and ease of administration. The purposes of this study were: first, to explore the pain intensity descriptors used among Chinese. Second, it was to construct a verbal rating scale for pain assessment. 

Methods: It consisted of two stages. Stage One was a cross-sectional descriptive survey to explore the pain intensity descriptors used among adult Chinese in Hong Kong. Stage Two was a Q-sorting technique to array the pain intensity descriptors obtained in Stage One. This was to construct a verbal rating scale (VRS) for pain assessment. 

Results: Nine hundred and eighty six healthy Chinese adults participated in Stage One. The ten pain intensity descriptors obtained were bearable(可以忍受), crushing the heart and lungs(痛摧肺腑), crucifying pain(痛到死) excruciating pain(劇痛), indescribable(難以形容), quite painful(頗痛), painful(好痛), slight pain(微痛), unbearable(不可忍受) and very painful(十分痛). In Stage Two, fifty-four baccalaureate-nursing students participated in the Q-sorting procedure. They were asked to rank the pain intensity descriptors according to a set of psychometric criteria. A vertical VRS was constructed with the least pain at the bottom and the most pain on the top. A ‘no pain’ was added to the bottom of the scale. 

Conclusions: The order of the rank was no pain, slight pain, quite painful, painful, very painful, bearable, indescribable, excruciating pain, unbearable, crushing the heart and lungs and crucifying pain. It is anticipated that a VRS of this kind has its value in the measurement of pain intensity with cultural relevancy. Copyright © 1999 Taiwan Society of Anesthesiologists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-71
JournalActa Anaesthesiologica Sinica
Volume37
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1999

Citation

Chung, J. W. Y., Wong, C. H., Yang, J. C. S., & Wong, T. K. S. (1999). The construction of a pain intensity verbal rating scale in Chinese. Acta Anaesthesiologica Sinica, 37(2), 65-71. doi: 10.6955/AAS.199906.0065

Keywords

  • Chinese
  • Pain intensity
  • Q-sorting
  • Verbal rating scale

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