ArticleObservational Visual Analog Scale in Pediatric Pain Assessment: Useful Tool or Good Riddance?van Dijk, Monique Ph.D.*; Koot, Hans M. Ph.D.†; Saad, Huda Huijer Abu Ph.D.‡; Tibboel, Dick M.D., Ph.D.*; Passchier, Jan Ph.D.§Author Information Departments of *Pediatric Surgery, †Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and ‡Medical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Netherlands Institute of Health Sciences, Erasmus Medical Center—Sophia, Rotterdam; and §Department of Nursing Science, University of Limburg, Maastricht, The Netherlands Received October 13, 2000; first revision December 3, 2001; second revision January 27, 2002; accepted February 6, 2002. This study was supported by a research grant from NWO (Dutch Organization for Scientific Research, grant nr. 940–31–031). Address correspondence and reprint requests to Monique van Dijk, Ph.D., Department of Pediatric Surgery, Sophia Children's Hospital, P.O. Box 2060, 3000 CB Rotterdam, The Netherlands; e-mail: [email protected] The Clinical Journal of Pain: September-October 2002 - Volume 18 - Issue 5 - p 310-316 Buy Abstract Design The authors reviewed the available pediatric pain literature and selected those studies that reported quantitative information on the reliability and validity of, and the optimal cutoff points for, the visual analog scale (VAS) when used as an observational pediatric pain tool. Results Available psychometric findings concerning the observational VAS (VASobs) are limited. The estimated interrater reliability of the VASobs from 9 studies ranged from 0.36 to 0.91. The correlation between self-report and the VASobs was variable and ranged 0.23 to 0.83 in 6 studies. The concurrent validity of the VASobs and other pain instruments ranged from 0.42 to 0.86. Conclusions Further psychometric testing needs to be conducted on intraobserver reliability, responsiveness, and optimal cutoff points. Future research may guide the choice between VASobs and the numerous behavioral pain instruments. © 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.