It was created out of a need Donna Wong and I saw for children to be able to communicate about their pain so they could be effectively treated and supported. In , shortly after completing graduate school, I began working as a child life specialist at Hillcrest Medical Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I worked with pediatric patients and their families to help them better cope with their illness or injury. Children often work through their fears and concerns through play and providing that environment was a profoundly rewarding experience. I used play, for instance, to learn what children understood about their experiences and to help give them a mastery over this new and often threatening environment. However, there were children in the burn unit and in pediatrics experiencing pain that was not being managed well.
Although the empirical base is still limited when providing clear directions for pain assessment and management in older adults, it is possible to identify recommendations for guiding practice based on consensus and a developing scientific base to support best practice activities. This article offers a brief overview of the epidemiology and consequences of pain, followed by a summary of issues and approaches relevant to pain assessment in older adults. Cohort specific recommendations for comprehensive pain assessment and measurement are then addressed. Older individuals frequently suffer from both acute and chronic painful diseases, have multiple diseases, and take numerous pain medications, [ 2 ] although relatively little investigative or clinical attention has been paid to the assessment of pain in the geriatric population, compared with the general population. This is surprising because population-based figures indicate that the prevalence of pain is twofold higher in those over age 60 per thousand , compared with those under age 60 per thousand.
The scale shows a series of faces ranging from a happy face at 0 , or "no hurt", to a crying face at 10, which represents "hurts like the worst pain imaginable". Based on the faces and written descriptions, the patient chooses the face that best describes their level of pain. There are 6 faces in the Wong-Baker Pain Scale. The first face represents a pain score of 0, and indicates "no hurt". The second face represents a pain score of 2, and indicates "hurts a little bit.