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Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2005 May;23(2):285-95.

Pain assessment instruments for use in the emergency department.

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Department of Emergency Medicine, Pain and Emergency Medicine Institute, Beth Israel Medical Center, First Avenue at 16th Street, New York, NY 10003, USA.


Each patient's pain experience is uniquely his or her own. Standardized pain assessment methodologies and procedures provide a window to this experience and constitute a necessary first step to our understanding of pain, in both clinical and research settings. All too often, emergency department pain assessment is cursory--performed more to satisfy regulatory requirements than to guide our therapies or evaluate our practices. This article provides information on a number of assessment techniques that are appropriate for clinical and research use. Their use should inform our practice and lead to continuous improvements in our management of pain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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