Pain Assessment

Multidimensional Pain Assessment Tools

Multidimensional pain assessment tools are used to assess the many ways that pain affects a person. Although unidimensional pain assessment tools are typically used to assess pain intensity, particularly when frequent measurements are needed, multidimensional pain assessment tools are used to obtain a comprehensive understanding of pain.

Many different multidimensional pain assessment tools may be used depending on the client population, the reason for the assessment, and the unit/hospital/area of care you work. For example, when treating certain populations such as pre-verbal and non-verbal clients, your assessment may focus on behavioural cues. When treating clients with chronic pain, you may focus on understanding the many ways that pain affects a person including psychologically, socially, and functionally.

The following sections explore:

  1. PQRSTU mnemonic.
  2. Brief Pain Inventory.
  3. Pain scales related to cognitive impairment.
  4. FLACC Pain Tool.
  5. Behavioural Pain Scale and Critical Care Pain Observation Tool.

Let’s check out these tools!


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