McCormack HM, Horne DJ, Sheather S. Clinical applications of visual analogue scales: A critical review

Department of Psychiatry, Royal Melbourne Hospital, University of Melbourne, Australia.
Psychological Medicine (Impact Factor: 5.94). 12/1988; 18(4):1007-19. DOI: 10.1017/S0033291700009934
Source: PubMed


Visual Analogue Scales (VAS) provide a simple technique for measuring subjective experience. They have been established as valid and reliable in a range of clinical and research applications, although there is also evidence of increased error and decreased sensitivity when used with some subject groups. Decisions concerned with the choice of scoring interval, experimental design, and statistical analysis for VAS have in some instances been based on convention, assumption and convenience, highlighting the need for more comprehensive assessment of individual scales if this versatile and sensitive measurement technique is to be used to full advantage.

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    • "A test battery was performed on both nights at 23:30 h, 01:30 h and 03:30 h (Fig. 1). The subjective part of the battery involved four 100-mm visual analog scales (VAS) [30] regarding A) alertness, Fig. 1. Overview of the protocol, presenting the timing of data collection and light exposures in both groups. "
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Short-wavelengths can have an acute impact on alertness, which is allegedly due to their action on intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells. Classical photoreceptors cannot, however, be excluded at this point in time as contributors to the alerting effect of light. The objective of this study was to compare the alerting effect at night of a white LED light source while wearing blue-blockers or not, in order to establish the contribution of short-wavelengths. Materials and methods: 20 participants stayed awake under dim light (<5lx) from 23:00h to 04:00h on two consecutive nights. On the second night, participants were randomly assigned to one light condition for 30min starting at 3:00h. Group A (5M/5F) was exposed to 500μW/cm2 of unfiltered LED light, while group B (4M/6F) was required to wear blue-blocking glasses, while exposed to 1500μW/cm2 from the same light device in order to achieve 500μW/cm2 at eye level (as measured behind the glasses). Subjective alertness, energy, mood and anxiety were assessed for both nights at 23:30h, 01:30h and 03:30h using a visual analog scale (VAS). Subjective sleepiness was assessed with the Stanford Sleepiness Scale (SSS). Subjects also performed the Conners' Continuous Performance Test II (CPT-II) in order to assess objective alertness. Mixed model analysis was used to compare VAS, SSS and CPT-II parameters. Results: No difference between group A and group B was observed for subjective alertness, energy, mood, anxiety and sleepiness, as well as CPT-II parameters. Subjective alertness (. p<. 0.001), energy (. p<. 0.001) and sleepiness (. p<. 0.05) were, however improved after light exposure on the second night independently of the light condition. Conclusions: The current study shows that when sleepiness is high, the alerting effect of light can still be triggered at night in the absence of short-wavelengths with a 30minute light pulse of 500μW/cm2. This suggests that the underlying mechanism by which a brief polychromatic light exposure improves alertness is not solely due to short-wavelengths through intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells.
    Physiology & Behavior 06/2015; 151. DOI:10.1016/j.physbeh.2015.06.028 · 2.98 Impact Factor
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    • "This tool has established validity and reliability for measuring acute and postoperative pain intensity, has similar sensitivity and correlates to visual analogue scale (DeLoach et al., 1998; Breivik et al., 2000, 2008). The assessment was conducted at rest, during coughing, during pulmonary testing (MIP, MEP, VC) and during walking function (Iowa Gait Test) before and after administration of TENS (McCormack et al., 1988). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Pain is a negative factor in the recovery process of postoperative patients. It causes pulmonary alterations and complications, and it also affects functional capacity. Several studies have investigated the effects of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) during the postoperative period. However, no studies have assessed the effects of TENS on kidney donors. Thus, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of TENS on pain, walking function, respiratory muscle strength and vital capacity in kidney donors.Methods Seventy-four patients were randomly allocated into two groups: active TENS or placebo TENS. All patients were assessed for pain intensity, respiratory muscle strength, vital capacity and walking function before and after the TENS application on the first day of the postoperative period.ResultsThe use of active TENS significantly reduced pain at rest (p = 0.006), during the measurement of maximal inspiratory pressure (p = 0.006), during maximal expiratory pressure (p = 0.004) and during vital capacity (p = 0.013). Active TENS also produced a significant increase in maximal expiratory pressure when compared with the placebo TENS group (p = 0.001). Maximal inspiratory pressure, vital capacity and walking function were not significantly different between the two treatment groups.Conclusions These results suggest that TENS decreases pain intensity at rest and during respiratory manoeuvres and increases maximal expiratory pressure during the postoperative period in kidney donors after open nephrectomy.
    European journal of pain (London, England) 01/2015; 19(1). DOI:10.1002/ejp.521 · 2.93 Impact Factor
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    • "At the first visit all patients were subjected to full history taking , general examination and complete knee joint examination. The severity of pain was assessed by VAS [14]. Patients were asked to complete the International knee documentation committee (IKDC) osteoarthritis scale in order to evaluate the function of the affected knee [15]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most prevalent form of arthritis in the world. Aim of the work: To evaluate the effect of 6-monthly intra-articular injection of platelet rich plasma (PRP) on the functional status of knee joint measured by the International Knee Document Committee scale (IKDC), the visual analogue scale for pain (VAS) on the ultrasonographic findings of OA knee. Assessment of its safety as a new line of treatment was taken into consideration. Patients and methods: The study was carried out on 20 patients with mild to moderate primary knee OA. They were injected intra-articularly with 5. ml PRP for each affected joint, at 1. month intervals for 6 injections. Clinical examination, VAS, IKDC score and diagnostic Doppler ultrasonography were performed before and after PRP treatment. Results: After 6. months of PRP, there was a significant improvement in the duration of inactivity stiffness (8.3. ± 2.4. min), VAS score (3.9. ± 1.1) and IKDC score (74.3. ± 10.2) compared to baseline values (18.7 ± 6.5. min, 5.9 ± 1.3 and 40.9 ± 10.4 respectively; p< 0.001). A significant improvement in Doppler activity (p = 0.04) and synovial thickening (p < 0.001) was found after 6. months of PRP. A significant correlation was found between age of patients, body mass index and disease duration with the VAS (r = 0.55, p< 0.001 and r = 0.29, p = 0.03 and r = 0.71, p< 0.001) and a negative correlation with the IKDC score (r = -0.32, p = 0.03, r = -0.96, p< 0.001 and r = -0.79, p< 0.001 respectively). Conclusion: Intra-articular injection of PRP is an effective and safe method for treatment of knee OA. Maximal improvement is obtained in patients with young age and short disease duration.
    Egyptian Rheumatologist 12/2014; 377(3). DOI:10.1016/j.ejr.2014.11.004
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