Studies comparing Numerical Rating Scales, Verbal Rating Scales, and Visual Analogue Scales for assessment of pain intensity in adults: a systematic literature review

Journal of Pain and Symptom Management
Marianne Jensen HjermstadEuropean Palliative Care Research Collaborative (EPCRC)


The use of unidimensional pain scales such as the Numerical Rating Scale (NRS), Verbal Rating Scale (VRS), or Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) is recommended for assessment of pain intensity (PI). A literature review of studies specifically comparing the NRS, VRS, and/or VAS for unidimensional self-report of PI was performed as part of the work of the European Palliative Care Research Collaborative on pain assessment. To investigate the use and performance of unidimensional pain scales, with specific emphasis on the NRSs. A systematic search was performed, including citations through April 2010. All abstracts were evaluated by two persons according to specified criteria. Fifty-four of 239 papers were included. Postoperative PI was most frequently studied; six studies were in cancer. Eight versions of the NRS (NRS-6 to NRS-101) were used in 37 studies; a total of 41 NRSs were tested. Twenty-four different descriptors (15 for the NRSs) were used to anchor the extremes. When compared with the VAS and VRS, NRSs had better compliance in 15 of 19 studies reporting this, and were the recommended tool in 11 studies on the basis of higher compliance rates, better responsiveness and ease of use, and good applicability relative to VAS/VRS. Twe...Continue Reading


Aug 1, 1978·Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases·W W DownieJ A Anderson
Mar 1, 1989·Pain·David A Williams, Beverly E Thorn
Apr 1, 1988·Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry·A Ekblom, P Hansson
Jan 1, 1985·Rheumatology International·G B Langley, H Sheppeard
Jan 1, 1982·European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology·R A Seymour
May 1, 1994·Pain·Franco de ConnoVittorio Vcntafridda
Feb 1, 1993·Applied Nursing Research : ANR·K A Herr, P R Mobily
Mar 28, 1998·The American Journal of Emergency Medicine·F BerthierD Baron
Sep 23, 1998·Palliative Medicine·F K SzeJ Woo
Mar 31, 2000·The Clinical Journal of Pain·E K BreivikE Skovlund
Apr 27, 2000·Pain·A C de C WilliamsY Chadury
Dec 21, 2000·Statistics in Medicine·E Svensson
Dec 29, 2000·Aging : Clinical and Experimental Research·I BerghB Steen
Mar 7, 2001·Academic Emergency Medicine : Official Journal of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine·A J SingerH C Thode
Jan 5, 2002·Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine·T LundebergS V Eriksson
Aug 9, 2002·Behavioral Medicine·Cristina Larroy
Sep 19, 2002·Pain·Mark P JensenAndrew M Brugger
Apr 24, 2003·Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy·Stefana SabtchevaThierry Lambert
Nov 19, 2003·The Journal of Pain : Official Journal of the American Pain Society·Mark P Jensen
Jan 6, 2005·Cancer Nursing·Carmen S RodriguezHossein Yarandi
May 21, 2005·Journal of Pain and Symptom Management·Augusto CaraceniFranco De Conno
Jun 14, 2005·The Clinical Journal of Pain·Eva SkovlundGeir Hoff
Sep 27, 2005·Journal of Pain and Symptom Management·Jin-Shei LaiDavid Cella
Nov 30, 2005·Journal of Advanced Nursing·Katja HeikkinenMarkku Taittonen
Dec 13, 2006·Journal of Pain and Symptom Management·Jacob Chr HølenStein Kaasa
Jan 17, 2007·Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics·Ilke Schwarz, Dana J Lawrence

❮ Previous
Next ❯


Mar 27, 2013·Der Urologe. Ausg. A·A ZimmerW Meißner
Nov 2, 2013·Amino Acids·Andrea UlbrichChristoph Aufricht
Mar 8, 2014·Pain Management Nursing : Official Journal of the American Society of Pain Management Nurses·Yazile Yazici Sayin, Neriman Akyolcu
Apr 6, 2013·Journal of Palliative Medicine·Shelley R SalpeterEduardo Bruera
Sep 17, 2013·Journal of Palliative Medicine·Kristin T L HuangRachel C Vreeman
Oct 22, 2013·Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine·Alethia Baldwin SellersThomas R Vetter
Apr 20, 2012·BMC Palliative Care·Kristin Tl HuangGregory P Gramelspacher
Jul 17, 2012·Health and Quality of Life Outcomes·Jyoti KhadkaKonrad Pesudovs
Apr 25, 2013·The Cleft Palate-craniofacial Journal : Official Publication of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association·Constantin A LandesRobert Sader
Oct 19, 2013·Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association·Maria A FahieAlicia L Bertone
Aug 15, 2013·Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology·Salvatore MasalaGiovanni Simonetti
Jan 21, 2014·Animal : an International Journal of Animal Bioscience·E NalonF A M Tuyttens
Jan 7, 2014·Breastfeeding Medicine : the Official Journal of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine·Ann M WittSteven Zyzanski
Mar 19, 2014·European Journal of Oncology Nursing : the Official Journal of European Oncology Nursing Society·Tore Kr SchjolbergTone Rustoen
Mar 19, 2014·The Journal of Arthroplasty·Nicolas O NoiseuxBarbara A Rakel
Nov 12, 2013·Pain Management Nursing : Official Journal of the American Society of Pain Management Nurses·Joanne G Samuels, Patricia Eckardt
Mar 25, 2014·The Journal of Emergency Medicine·Paris B LovettRex G Mathew
Sep 6, 2014·The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine : Research on Paradigm, Practice, and Policy·Ming-Chiu OuShyi-Kuen Wu
Sep 3, 2014·Human Reproduction Update·Nicolas BourdelMichel Canis
Jan 19, 2016·Journal of Clinical Nursing·Julie Gregory, Linda McGowan
Mar 13, 2016·International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics : the Official Organ of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics·Megan DouthwaiteAdriana Domínguez
Feb 14, 2016·European Spine Journal : Official Publication of the European Spine Society, the European Spinal Deformity Society, and the European Section of the Cervical Spine Research Society·I H FeeleyT M Murphy
Jan 7, 2016·Disability and Rehabilitation·Ahmad H AlghadirZaheen Ahmed Iqbal
Nov 21, 2015·Pain·Patrick J TigheHaldun Aytug
Feb 20, 2016·Pain Medicine : the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pain Medicine·Dipika BansalPooja Arora
Apr 7, 2012·Current Medical Research and Opinion·Sebastiano MercadanteAlessandra Casuccio
Jun 19, 2015·British Journal of Neurosurgery·Stacey A MannJon H Raphael
Oct 21, 2016·Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine·Mohammad HaghighiMehdi Jafari

❮ Previous
Next ❯

Related Concepts

Trending Feeds


Coronaviruses encompass a large family of viruses that cause the common cold as well as more serious diseases, such as the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19; formally known as 2019-nCoV). Coronaviruses can spread from animals to humans; symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties; in more severe cases, infection can lead to death. This feed covers recent research on COVID-19.


Blastomycosis fungal infections spread through inhaling Blastomyces dermatitidis spores. Discover the latest research on blastomycosis fungal infections here.

Nuclear Pore Complex in ALS/FTD

Alterations in nucleocytoplasmic transport, controlled by the nuclear pore complex, may be involved in the pathomechanism underlying multiple neurodegenerative diseases including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Dementia. Here is the latest research on the nuclear pore complex in ALS and FTD.

Applications of Molecular Barcoding

The concept of molecular barcoding is that each original DNA or RNA molecule is attached to a unique sequence barcode. Sequence reads having different barcodes represent different original molecules, while sequence reads having the same barcode are results of PCR duplication from one original molecule. Discover the latest research on molecular barcoding here.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a disease characterized by unexplained disabling fatigue; the pathology of which is incompletely understood. Discover the latest research on chronic fatigue syndrome here.

Evolution of Pluripotency

Pluripotency refers to the ability of a cell to develop into three primary germ cell layers of the embryo. This feed focuses on the mechanisms that underlie the evolution of pluripotency. Here is the latest research.

Position Effect Variegation

Position Effect Variagation occurs when a gene is inactivated due to its positioning near heterochromatic regions within a chromosome. Discover the latest research on Position Effect Variagation here.

STING Receptor Agonists

Stimulator of IFN genes (STING) are a group of transmembrane proteins that are involved in the induction of type I interferon that is important in the innate immune response. The stimulation of STING has been an active area of research in the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. Here is the latest research on STING receptor agonists.


Microbicides are products that can be applied to vaginal or rectal mucosal surfaces with the goal of preventing, or at least significantly reducing, the transmission of sexually transmitted infections. Here is the latest research on microbicides.

Related Papers

Journal of Clinical Nursing
Amelia Williamson, Barbara Hoggart
British Journal of Anaesthesia
H BreivikA Stubhaug
© 2022 Meta ULC. All rights reserved