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Pain Rating Scale - FACES « Surveys/Scales « Downloads

Date postedFebruary 2, 2012
Downloaded820 times
CategoriesSurveys/Scales, Health Assessment


FACES is a visual analog scale to assess pain in pediatric patients.
The graphic and instructions for the FACES scale may be copied and pasted from your browser. Permission to reproduce the FACES scale is required only if it is to be included in copyrighted material.
Theoretically, the FACES scale could be used as three scales because it combines facial expression, numbers, and words. However, the reason numbers and words are used under the facial expressions is to simplify the scale’s use. The word “hurt” could be used rather than pain based on research that showed children as young as three years understood this word (Baker-Lefkowicz and others, 1996). However, if a child uses a word such as “owie” or “ouchie” for pain, these words can be substituted. The process of assessing pain intensity with the FACES scale is SIMPLE and EFFICIENT. The child looks at the faces, the professional or parent uses the simple words to describe the expression, and the number is used to record the score.

Donna Wong, PhD, RN
Nursing Consultant & Assoc Professor
Univ of Oklahoma & Oral Roberts Univ
7535 S Urbana Avenue
Tulsa, OK 74136-6113


Wong, D. and Baker, C.: Pain in children: comparison of assessment scales, Pediatric Nursing 14(1):9-17, 1988.

Alyea, B.C.: Child pain rating after injection preparation (thesis), University of Missouri at Columbia, 1978.

Bieri, D., and others: The Faces Pain Scale for the self-assessment of the severity of pain experienced by children: development, initial validation, and preliminary investigation for the ratio scale properties, Pain 41(2):139-150, 1990.