The Swedish version of the PACU-Behavioural Pain Rating Scale: a reliable method of assessing postoperative pain?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


One of the obstacles to effective pain management in the Post-Anaesthesia Care Unit (PACU) is the lack of systematic and comprehensive methods for assessing and treating postoperative pain. Nurses' intuitive knowledge of pain were verbalized and divided into four categories of pain behaviours in the PACU-Behavioural Pain Rating Scale. The aim of the present study was to test the reliability of the Swedish version by performing test-retest and interrater reliability in clinical conditions. Materials for this study were gathered through patient observations. The results showed poor agreement in the item restless, fair agreements in both items tense muscles and frowning and grimacing, while patients' sounds showed moderate agreement. Interrater reliability showed moderate agreement in the item restless, very good agreement in tense muscles and patient sounds, and good agreement in frowning and grimacing. A refined classification of the separate categories and a careful review of the category of behaviours is suggested. A more detailed manual for the categories needs to be developed to establish more acceptable reliability.


  • K Persson
  • Margareta Östman
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Nursing


  • postoperative, reliability of results, nursing, adult, pain management
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-309
JournalScandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Publication categoryResearch