Pain Quality Assessment Scale


There are different aspects and types of pain that people experience and that we are interested in measuring. Pain can feel sharp, hot, cold, dull, and achy. Some pains may feel like they are very superficial (at skin-level), or they may feel like they are from deep inside your body. Pain can be described as unpleasant and also can have different time qualities.

The Pain Quality Assessment Scale helps us measure these and other different aspects of your pain. For one person, a pain might feel extremely hot and burning, but not at all dull, while another patient may not experience any burning pain, but feel like their pain is very dull and achy. Therefore, we expect you to rate very high on some of the scales below and very low on others.

Please use the 20 rating scales below to rate how much of each different pain quality and type you may or may not have felt over the past week on average.

19. We want you to give us an estimate of the severity of your deep versus surface pain over the past week. We want you to rate each location of pain separately. We realize that it can be difficult to make these estimates, and most likely it will be a "best guess" but please give us your best estimate.
20. Pain can also have different time qualities. For some people, the pain comes and goes and so they have some moments that are completely without pain; in other words the pain "comes and goes." This is called intermittent pain. Others are never pain free, but their pain types and pain severity can vary from one moment to the next. This is called variable pain. For these people the increases can be severe, so that they feel they have moments of very intense pain("breakthrough" pain), but at other times they can feel lower levels of pain ("background" pain). Still, they are never pain free. Other people have pain that really does not change that much from one moment to another. This is called stable pain.