11-point Numerical Rating Scale (NRS)
There are several different scales that can be used to assess for pain severity.
The most common is the 11-point Numerical Rating Scale (NRS), which uses the range 0-10. The benefits of the NRS are its simplicity and validity. Possible drawbacks include response variability and moderate correlation with functional status.
Opioid Risk Tool
Link opens a PDF version of the Opioid Risk Tool. Please note that this PDF is 508 compliant.
Numeric Risk Tool
Link opens a PDF version of the Numeric Risk Tool. Please note that this PDF is 508 compliant.
Link opens a PDF version of the QuickDASH. Please note that this PDF is 508 compliant.
Functional Pain Scale (FPS)
Ask the patient if pain is present. If the patient has pain, ask him or her to rate the pain subjectively as either "tolerable" or "intolerable."
Finally, find out if the pain interferes with function.If the patient rates the pain as "tolerable," establish whether the pain interferes with any activity. If the pain is "intolerable," determine whether the pain is so intense as to prevent passive activities. See the chart below for guidelines.
- 0 No pain
- 1 Tolerable (and does not prevent any activities)
- 2 Tolerable (but does prevent some activities)
- 3 Intolerable (but can use telephone, watch TV, or read)
- 4 Intolerable (but cannot use telephone, watch TV, or read)
- 5 Intolerable (and unable to verbally communicate because of pain)
The patient's subjective rating of pain and the objective determination of the pain's interference with activities will produce a corresponding score on a scale of 0-5.
A lower score equates to less severe pain and less interference with functional abilities, if any. Ideally, all patients should reach a 0 to 2 level, preferably 0 to 1.
It should be made clear to the respondent that limitations in function only apply if limitations are due to the pain being evaluated.
Gloth FM III, Scheve AA, Stober CV, Chow S, Prosser J. The Functional Pain Scale: reliability, validity, and responsiveness in an elderly population. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2001;2(3):110-114.