The convergent validity of the manchester pain scale
Intended for healthcare professionals
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The convergent validity of the manchester pain scale

Fiona Lyon Senior house officer, Manchester Royal Infirmary
Russell Boyd Consultant doctor, Manchester Royal Infirmary
Kevin Mackway-Jones Professor of emergency medicine, Manchester Royal Infirmary

Assessment of pain in children is one of the most challenging problems faced by healthcare providers, particularly in emergency settings. Here, FIONA LYON and colleagues compare two pain scales


To test the convergent validity of the Manchester pain scale when compared to the current ‘gold standard’ in children’s pain assessment, the Oucher pain scale.


One hundred and fifty two children presenting to the emergency department had pain scale assessments using both the Manchester and Oucher pain scales. The order of presentation of the scales was randomised.

The degree of convergence between the scales was assessed using Spearman’s rank correlation as well as Bland and Altman plots.


One hundred and thirteen children used numerical scales; the correlation coefficient for these was 0.802. Thirty nine children used pictorial scales; the correlation coefficient was 0.820.


There is strong convergent validity between the scales as demonstrated by a high degree of correlation between the numerical and pictorial scores generated by the Manchester and Oucher pain scales. The Manchester pain scale can be used to assess pain in children presenting to emergency departments.

Emergency Nurse. 13, 1, 34-38. doi: 10.7748/en2005.

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