Valid assessment of pain in children is foundational for both the nursing practice and research domains, yet few validated methods of pain measurement are currently available for young children. This article describes an innovative research approach used in the development of photographic instruments to measure pain intensity in young African-American and Hispanic children. The instruments were designed to enable children to participate actively in their own care and to do so in ways that are congruent with their developmental and cultural heritage. Conceptualization of the instruments, methodological development, and validation processes grounded in Orem's Self-Care Deficit Theory of Nursing are described. The authors discuss the ways in which the gaps between nursing theory, research, and practice are narrowed when development of instruments to measure clinical nursing phenomena are grounded in nursing theory, validated through research and utilized in practice settings.
© 1991 Aspen Publishers, Inc.