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Skip Navigation LinksHome > June 2008 - Volume 108 - Issue 6 > How to Try This: Using Pain‐Rating Scales with Older Adults
AJN, American Journal of Nursing:
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000324376.02027.44
CE 2 HOURS Continuing Education TEST

How to Try This: Using Pain‐Rating Scales with Older Adults

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CE 2 HOURS: Continuing Education

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GENERAL PURPOSE: To describe for registered professional nurses the use of three widely used pain-rating scales with older adults.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES: After reading this article and taking the test on the next page, you will be able to

* discuss the background information helpful for understanding the need for pain-rating scales for use with older adults.

* compare and contrast the three scales described in this article.

* outline the use of these scales with older adults.

TEST INSTRUCTIONS

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To use the form provided in this issue,

* record your answers in the test answer section of the CE enrollment form between pages 48 and 49. Each question has only one correct answer. You may make copies of the form.

* complete the registration information and course evaluation. Mail the completed enrollment form and registration fee of $21.95 to Lippincott Williams and Wilkins CE Group, 2710 Yorktowne Blvd., Brick, NJ 08723, by June 30, 2010. You will receive your certificate in four to six weeks. For faster service, include a fax number and we will fax your certificate within two business days of receiving your enrollment form. You will receive your CE certificate of earned contact hours and an answer key to review your results. There is no minimum passing grade.

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TEST CODE: AJNTT17

1. The most reliable measure of pain is

a. nonverbal indication of discomfort.

b. the severity of the illness or injury.

c. the patient's ability to sleep.

d. the patient's own report.

2. Which of the following pain scales asks patients to describe pain by using such terms as “no pain” and “mild pain”?

a. numeric rating scale (NRS)

b. McGill Pain Questionnaire

c. verbal descriptor scale

d. Faces Pain Scale–Revised (FPS–R)

3. Most clinicians choose which of the following pain-assessment scales?

a. NRS

b. McGill Pain Questionnaire

c. verbal descriptor scale

d. FPS–R

4. Before administering a pain scale, you should first tell the patient that

a. other pain-assessment tools are available for this evaluation.

b. the patient's responses are just an estimate of the pain experienced.

c. you are concerned about the patient experiencing any pain.

d. you will also observe the patient's pain-related behavior.

5. Which of the following might be a good choice for assessing patients who primarily speak another language?

a. NRS

b. McGill Pain Questionnaire

c. verbal descriptor scale

d. FPS–R

6. According to Ferrell and colleagues, nursing home residents were least likely to complete the

a. NRS.

b. McGill Pain Questionnaire.

c. verbal descriptor scale.

d. FPS–R.

7. According to Wynne and colleagues, nursing home residents were most likely to complete the

a. NRS.

b. McGill Word Scale. c. verbal descriptor scale.

d. FPS–R.

8. Patients with a visual deficit will be unable to use the

a. NRS.

b. McGill Pain Questionnaire.

c. verbal descriptor scale.

d. FPS–R.

9. When using the verbal descriptor scale, what should you do next if a patient describes her or his pain as “unbearable”?

a. Clarify the pain intensity with words from the verbal descriptor scale.

b. Ask the patient to formulate another description of the pain.

c. Administer the NRS instead.

d. Document the patient's pain level using the nonscale words the patient used.

10. The pain rating that allows the patient to perform a range of activities with relative ease is sometimes called the

a. functional ease level.

b. pain–activity objective.

c. active comfort objective.

d. comfort–function goal.

11. According to Herr and colleagues, the older adults in their study cited which of the following as their first choice for a pain-rating scale?

a. the 21-point version of the NRS b. McGill Pain Questionnaire

c. verbal descriptor scale

d. FPS–R

12. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), what proportion of adults age 65 years and older reported pain for longer than 24 hours in the past month?

a. one-tenth

b. one-fifth

c. one-fourth

d. one-third

13. According to the CDC, what proportion of adults reported having experienced low back pain in the past three months?

a. one-fourth

b. one-third

c. one-half

d. two-thirds

14. According to the CDC, what proportion of adults age 65 years and older reported having experienced “joint pain, aching, or stiffness” in locations other than the back or neck in the previous 30 days?

a. one-fourth

b. one-third

c. one-half

d. two-thirds

15. According to Sengstaken and King, what percentage of the communicative members in their study group of nursing home residents experienced chronic pain?

a. 36%

b. 46%

c. 56%

d. 66%

16. Which statement about the evidence to support the use of the three scales described in this article is correct?

a. None of the scales had good internal consistency.

b. There are no data to support their validity.

c. Test–retest reliability for the verbal descriptor scale was 1.24 to 1.74.

d. All are sensitive to the discomfort reported by older adults with exposure to various temperatures.

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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