A smartphone version of the Faces Pain Scale-Revised and the Color Analog Scale for postoperative pain assessment in children

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Abstract

Background:

Effective pain assessment is essential during postoperative recovery. Extensive validation data are published supporting the Faces Pain Scale-Revised (FPS-R) and the Color Analog Scale (CAS) in children. Panda is a smartphone-based application containing electronic versions of these scales.

Objectives:

To evaluate agreement between Panda and original paper/plastic versions of the FPS-R and CAS and to determine children's preference for either Panda or original versions of these scales.

Methods:

ASA I–III children, 4–18 years, undergoing surgery were assessed using both Panda and original versions of either the FPS-R or CAS. Pain assessments were conducted within 10 min of waking from anesthesia and 30 min later.

Results:

Sixty-two participants, median (range) age 7.5 (4–12) years, participated in the FPS-R trial; Panda scores correlated strongly with the original scores at both time points (Pearson's r > 0.93) with limits of agreement within clinical significance (80% CI). Sixty-six participants, age 13 (5–18) years, participated in the CAS trial. Panda scores correlated strongly with the original scores at both time points (Pearson's r > 0.87); mean pain scores were higher (up to +0.47 out of 10) with Panda than with the original tool, representing a small systematic bias, but limits of agreement were within clinical significance. Most participants who expressed a preference preferred Panda over the original tool (81% of FPS-R, 76% of CAS participants).

Conclusion:

The Panda smartphone application can be used in lieu of the original FPS-R and CAS for assessment of pain in children. Children's preference for Panda may translate to improved cooperation with self-report of pain.

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