1. Speroni, Karen Gabel PhD, RN
  2. Hannah, Janet RN, CGRN
  3. Atherton, Martin DrPH
  4. Corriher, Joy MSN, RN


This prospective study collected demographic, behavioral, and procedural factors data on the pain perception of 100 patients as they were undergoing colonoscopy and moderate sedation. Patients were asked to rate pain on a 4-point categorical scale (no, slight, moderate, or severe pain) before the colonoscopy, every 5 minutes during, and after the colonoscopy. Before discharge, patients recorded overall pain control satisfaction on a 100-mm visual analog scale (0 = not satisfied and 100 = satisfied).


The average patient age was 54.3 years, and 56% were male. A total of 59 subjects reported an averaged "no pain" or "slight pain" rating, and 41 reported moderate or severe pain. The median visual analog scale score was 92.5, demonstrating a high level of overall pain-control satisfaction. Patient reports of pain during the colonoscopy procedure may not be recalled by the moderately sedated patient, as evidenced from the high level of satisfaction of overall pain control demonstrated by the visual analog scale finding. Compared with women and non-Whites, a larger proportion (P < .05) of men and Whites reported "no" or "slight pain"; moreover, a larger proportion (P < .05) of patients experiencing no preprocedure anxiety reported "no" or "slight pain" compared with those experiencing anxiety before their procedure. Compared with other sedation groups, a larger proportion (P < .05) of patients receiving Versed + Fentanyl reported "no" or "slight pain" during their procedures. Other factors that were analyzed, including age, body mass index, history of alcohol consumption, smoking, narcotic use, length of procedure, and medical or nursing intervention, did not appear to influence the level of pain perceived by patients observed in this study.