Alternative pain chart4 likes
Audience: children, parents, healthcare professionals
When working alongside children and young people levels and descriptions of pain is a very unique and individual part of their illness and recovery, and what works for one child or young person doesn’t always work for the next- so as health care professionals we have to work with them to gain an understanding of what matters to them, and how we can support their time in hospital in the best way possible.
Traditional pain charts generally use numbers, and smiley faces which works really well for some children and young people, but over the last few years many of us have had to adapt and re- design pain charts. There are some amazing examples out there, from Emotion Stones, Bags of pebbles, Lego Characters, and different sounds with various different volume levels- so here is one I gathered together- really easily with a little help from my friends on Twitter and was nudged to get something that we could all share and use- to benefit our amazing children and young people.
I have used numbers as well as images with different facial expressions as finding descriptive words when you are in pain is really tricky. I haven’t gone for 1-10 as that in itself can lead to confusion for some, as always siting alongside and explaining how it works is key.
I must give thanks to the twitter family of health care professionals and expert parents for coming up with some of the characters.
by Sian Spencer-Little, Specialised Play and Activity Practitioner – Paediatrics, Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.