Objective To assess the inter-rater agreement of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) Composite Pain Scale.
Methods A prospective, observational study of 117 children who presented to the ED with pain due to a limb injury. Pain severity was assessed by the triage nurse, doctor and child (depending on their age) using indicators of the RCEM Composite Pain Scale. This pain scale comprises a modified Wong-Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale (FACES Scale), a Behaviour scale and a numerical rating scale (Ladder). Comparisons were made between scores from individual scales and raters.
Results 117 children (26 aged 0–8 years (group 1) and 91 aged >8–16 years (group 2)) were enrolled in the study. Pain in group 1 was assessed by the nurse and doctor using the FACES Scale and the Behaviour scale. The FACES Scale demonstrated greater inter-rater agreement than the Behaviour scale. Pain in group 2 was assessed by the nurse and doctor using the Behaviour scale and by the child using the FACES Scale and Ladder. The Ladder demonstrated poor inter-rater agreement in comparison with the Behaviour Score.
Conclusion The Ladder score could be omitted from this composite tool as it has poor inter-rater agreement in comparison with the other indicators.
- pain management
- paediatrics, paediatric emergency medicine
Statistics from Altmetric.com
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.