Pain is difficult to assess in noncommunicative patients who are being treated with mechanical ventilation or are sedated and unable to report pain. Use of a valid and reliable tool to assist health care providers in the management of pain in critically ill, sedated, and non-communicative patients is paramount. Arif Rahu and colleagues evaluated the validity and sensitivity of 6 pain scales to identify the most appropriate measure of pain in noncommunicative patients (ie, those who were mechanically ventilated and sedated). They found the following:

  • All pain scales had moderate to high correlations with the patient’s self-report during suctioning.

  • All scales were sensitive in capturing the patient’s pain response in all phases.

  • Both subjects and investigators rated pain higher on FACES scale.

  • Caregivers must be cautious in using the FACES scale because subjectivity may lead to over- or undertreating pain.

See Article, pp...

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