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  1. Ylinen, Eeva-Riitta PhD, RN
  2. Vehvilainen-Julkunen, Katri PhD
  3. Pietila, Anna-Maija PhD


Pain scales have been tested in clinical settings, but rarely with colonoscopy. The aim of this study was to evaluate the Colorado Behavioral Numerical Pain Scale (CBNPS) when assessing medication-free colonoscopy patients' pain intensity. During the first phase in 2005, the expert panelists (n = 17) described medication-free colonoscopy patients' behavior on a scale ranging from 0 to 5 scale. The descriptions were analyzed by quantitative and qualitative content analysis and compared with those of CBNPS. During the second phase in 2006, data from 138 medication- free colonoscopy patients and 11 nurses were collected using questionnaires (CBNPS, visual analogue scale [VAS], and verbal rating scale [VRS]) and analyzed statistically. The descriptions made by expert nurses were found similar to those of the CBNPS. Nurses' estimations with the CBNPS, VAS, and VRS of patients' pain were correlated with each other. According to our results, the CBNPS is an adequate instrument when assessing patients' pain intensity during medication-free colonoscopy. It provides an opportunity to evaluate the total pain intensity and the pain during the phases of the procedure. It is also a proper tool for improving nursing documentation. Results from this study highlight the need for further research to examine the pain scales.