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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    • "In order not to influence the results, the observers were asked not to discuss their ratings with each other. As a tool for rating subjective experience, VASs have been described as both reliable and sensitive (McCormack et al., 1988). "
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    ABSTRACT: Using training to prepare laboratory animals for biomedical research is one important behavior management task. With increased knowledge about factors influencing training success, training programs may be optimized, resulting in a refinement of primate husbandry. Even when animals are trained under the same conditions there are individual differences in how they respond to training. The current paper focuses on two of the factors potentially influencing training success: social rank and personality. Five observers rated the personality and the social rank of 34 long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) in an observer trait rating survey. Training success was measured in 22 of these individuals and from four of their shaping protocols; hand-feeding, target training, presenting hands and presenting feet. From the factor analysis four personality traits could be identified: 'Emotionality‘, ’Activity‘, 'sociability‘, and ’Tolerance‘. A Multiple linear regressions with backward elimination showed that the personality trait “Activity” was associated with training success (adj.R2 = 0.71, p < 0.0005), and unexpectedly, social rank had less influence (adj.R2 = 0.30, p = 0.005) on training success in group-housed long-tailed macaques. We propose that training success can be conceptualized as consisting of two components: access to the trainer and problem solving. In the case of personality, the two components combine to promote training success: curious animals gain access to trainers, and playful animals are good problem solvers; both these adjectives were present in the trait ‘Activity’. In contrast, with regards to rank, qualities that increase access to the trainer (dominance) and traits that promote problem solving (subordinance) counteract one another, potentially explaining why in this study, training was better explained by personality than by rank.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Applied Animal Behaviour Science
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    • "Both the Leeds assessment of neuropathic symptoms and signs (LANSS scale) and neuropathic pain questionnaire have been developed to differentiate neuropathic from nociceptive pain patients, rather than tools for quantitative assessment (Bennett 2001; Krause and Backonja 2003); these scales have only been preliminarily validated because they are recent and not yet widely used. Numbness and pain are currently evaluated using subjective methods such as the VAS (McCormack et al. 1988; DeLoach et al. 1998). VAS is used in epidemiologic and clinical research to measure the intensity or frequency of various symptoms (Paul-Dauphin et al. 1999) including "
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    ABSTRACT: Numbness and pain are currently evaluated using subjective methods such as the visual analog scale (VAS). However, because assessment of pain can vary greatly depending on the mood and physical state of the patient at the time of assessment, it is best to evaluate pain objectively. pain vision PS-2100 (PV) is an analytical instrument that was designed to quantitatively and objectively assess sense perception and nociception in patients. The present study examined the correlation of subjective and objective assessment of oxaliplatin-induced peripheral neuropathy (PN) using VAS and PV, respectively. The mean VAS and PV scores of PN were 20.5 (range 0-100) and 27.9 (range 0-416), respectively. The partial correlation coefficient was 0.274 (p = 0.0003). No strong correlation was observed between the results and a weak correlation was observed between VAS and PV.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · SpringerPlus
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Physiology & Behavior
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