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Table 1 Key Methods to Assess Pain in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis

From: The extra-articular impacts of rheumatoid arthritis: moving towards holistic care

Measure Population Content Completion time (minutes) Scoring time (minutes)
McGill Pain Questionnaire [15, 16] For use in adults with chronic pain problems 78 words describing the sensory, affective and evaluative aspects of pain, alongside a 5-point present pain intensity scale. 5–15 1–2
Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain Scale [17] Adults with RA 24 items measuring descriptions of pain, it’s severity and interference. 5 2
Pain Visual Analogue Scale [14] Any adult population Usually one horizontal line, measuring 10 cm, anchored with verbal descriptors “no pain” and “pain as bad as it could be”. < 1 < 1
Verbal Descriptive Scale [14] Any adult population Similar to pain visual analogue scale, replacing whole numbers with verbal descriptors of pain (e.g. no pain, slight pain, mild pain, moderate pain, severe pain, very severe pain, the most intense pain imaginable). < 1 < 1
Numeric rating scale [123] Any adult population Segmented version of pain visual analogue scale, with patients selecting a whole number (0–10 integers) that best reflects their pain intensity < 1 < 1
Short-Form 36 Bodily pain [124] Any adult population A 2-item scale in which patients rate: [1] the intensity of their pain (6-point scale ranging from “none” to “very severe”), and [2] extent to which pain interferes with their work (5-point scale ranging from “not at all” to “extremely”) < 2 1