Postoperative pain assessment using four behavioral scales in Pakistani children undergoing elective surgery

Faisal Shamim, Hameed Ullah, Fauzia A. Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Several measurement tools have been used for assessment of postoperative pain in pediatric patients. Self-report methods have limitations in younger children and parent, nurse or physician assessment can be used as a surrogate measure. These tools should be tested in different cultures as pain can be influenced by sociocultural factors. The objective was to assess the inter-rater agreement on four different behavioral pain assessment scales in our local population. Materials and Methods: This prospective, descriptive, observational study was conducted in Pakistan. American Society of Anesthesiologists I and II children, 3-7 years of age, undergoing elective surgery were enrolled. Four pain assessment scales were used, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Pain Scale (CHEOPS), Toddler Preschool Postoperative Pain Scale (TPPPS), objective pain scale (OPS), and Face, Legs, Activity, Cry, Consolability (FLACC). After 15 and 60 min of arrival in the postanesthesia care unit (PACU), each child evaluated his/her postoperative pain by self-reporting and was also independently assessed by the PACU nurse, PACU anesthetist and the parent. The sensitivity and specificity of the responses of the four pain assessment scales were compared to the response of the child. Results: At 15 min, sensitivity and specificity were >60% for doctors and nurses on FLACC, OPS, and CHEOPS scales and for FLACC and CHEOPS scale for the parents. Parents showed poor agreement on OPS and TPPS. At 60 min, sensitivity was poor on the OPS scale by all three observers. Nurses showed a lower specificity on FLACC tool. Parents had poor specificity on CHEOPS and rate of false negatives was high with TPPS. Conclusions: We recommend the use of FLACC scale for assessment by parents, nurses, and doctors in Pakistani children aged between 3 and 7.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-178
Number of pages5
JournalSaudi Journal of Anaesthesia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavioral scales
  • children
  • pain assessment
  • pediatric pain
  • postoperative pain


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