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Volume 26 , Issue 2
Spring 2012

Pages 126-131

Concordance Among Different Pain Scales in Patients with Dental Pain

Patrícia dos Santos Calderon, DDS, MS, PhD/Raniel Fernandes Peixoto, DDS/Vinícius Maron Gomes, DDS/Ana Sílvia da Mota Corrêa, DDS/Eloísa Nassar de Alencar, DDS, MS/Leylha Maria Nunes Rossetti, DDS, MS, PhD/Paulo César Rodrigues Conti, DDS, MS, PhD

PMID: 22558612

Aims: To evaluate the concordance among different pain scales for evaluation of pain in toothache patients and to assess the influence of oral health on the quality of life of those patients. Methods: Ninety-two patients seeking treatment for toothache were evaluated before and after treatment. At baseline and 1 week after the dental treatment, the patients were requested to fill out the Oral Health Impact Profile Inventory (OHIP–14) as well as the following pain scales: the visual analog scale (VAS), numeric scale (NS), verbal rating scale (VRS), and Faces Pain Scale–Revised (FPS-R). The data were analyzed by Pearson correlation, Student t test, and analysis of variance for repeated measurements, with a significance level of 5%. Results: Patients were, on average, 34.4 years old. The sample was composed of 50 women and 42 men. Fifty-eight patients had dental pain of pulpal origin, and 34 had pain of periodontal origin. The mean OHIP score was 20.83 at baseline and 5.0 at 1 week after the completion of the dental treatment. The mean values of the scales at baseline were 50.7 mm, 56.7 mm, 52.2 mm, and 52.9 mm for the VAS, NS, VRS, and FPS-R, respectively. One week after the treatment, these values were 7.5 mm, 9.4 mm, 10.9 mm, and 8.7 mm. A positive correlation was detected between all four scales at baseline and also 1 week after the treatment (P < .05). At baseline, the NS was significantly different from the other scales. This difference, however, was not detected at the end of the trial. Conclusion: All scales were able to detect differences in the pain reported after dental treatment and may be valid and reliable for use in clinical dental practice. The NS, however, returns higher scores at baseline when assessing the pain. J OROFAC PAIN 2012;26:126–131

Key words: pain assessment, pain intensity, pain scale, quality of life, toothache

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