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Comparative evaluations of single-item pain-intensity measures in cancer patients: Numeric rating scale vs. verbal rating scale
- Comparative evaluations of single-item pain-intensity measures in cancer patients: Numeric rating scale vs. verbal rating scale
- Kim H.-J.; Jung S.-O.
- Ewha Authors
- Issue Date
- Journal Title
- Journal of Clinical Nursing
- Journal of Clinical Nursing vol. 29, no. 15-16, pp. 2945 - 2952
- assessment; cancer; fatigue; measures; oncology nursing; pain; psychometrics
- Blackwell Publishing Ltd
- SCIE; SSCI; SCOPUS
- Document Type
- Aims and Objectives: To evaluate the psychometric quality of two single-item pain-intensity measures: the Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) and the Verbal Rating Scale (VRS). Background: Measuring pain intensity is a vital step in initiating symptom management and evaluating the effectiveness of interventions with cancer patients. Single-item pain-intensity measures of the NRS and VRS format have been evaluated to be acceptable for use in clinical practice and research; however, evidence to choose one over the other, as a standardised pain-assessment format, is insufficient. Design: Descriptive correlational study. The study was guided and reported following the STROBE guideline. Methods: Data accrued at two time points during cancer treatment with a total of 249 patients treated in a Korean University Hospital. Two single-item measures were constructed to assess pain intensity over 1 week. The Brief Pain Inventory (BPI; pain intensity subscale and interference subscale) and the functional assessment of chronic illness therapy-fatigue were the criterion. Convergent and concurrent validity were tested with Pearson's correlations. Results: In the convergent-validity evaluation of the cross-sectional association with the BPI, the NRS showed a much higher level of association than the VRS (0.81 versus 0.61). In convergent validity with a longitudinal association with the BPI, the NRS score change had a much higher level of association (0.61 versus 0.37). In concurrent-validity evaluation, the NRS and VRS showed similar levels of associations with fatigue (−0.48 versus −0.49). Yet, the NRS showed statistically higher levels of correlation with functional limitations than the VRS (0.55 versus 0.42), comparable to the concurrent validity of the BPI. Conclusion: The NRS showed higher validity than VRS when assessing overall pain intensity over the past week. Relevance to Clinical Nursing: Pain assessment is a vital role of nurses in caring for patients with cancer. Current study findings support the use of the single-item NRS pain measure to assess global pain intensity over the past week. © 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
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