Effectiveness of the Self-report Pain Intensity Scale in Pain Control After Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery

Document Type : Original Article


1 Rajaie Cardiovascular Medical and Research Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran.

2 Cardio-oncology Research Center, Rajaie Cardiovascular, Medical, and Research Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran.

3 Ayatollah Kashani Haspital, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, IR Iran.


Background: Pain following cardiac surgery is common, and pain assessment is a precondition for adequate pain management. We designed this study to evaluate the effectiveness of pain control using the self-report pain intensity scale during the postoperative period after coronary artery bypass surgery in the cardiac ICU.
Methods: Of 160 patients scheduled for elective coronary revascularization, 154 patients were included in this prospective, double-blind clinical trial. The pain management program was performed on conscious patients for 48 hours. The study population was randomly divided into 2 groups. One group received analgesics as needed, based on conventional nurse-controlled analgesia (the NCA group; n=77), and the other group received analgesics based on the pain intensity score determined using the linear numerical rating scale (NRS group; n=77). In both groups, opioid and non-opioid analgesic consumption and satisfaction levels with pain relief were recorded.
Results: The use of the self-report pain intensity scale led to an increase in the number of recipients of analgesic drugs and a decrease in their opioid/analgesic consumption during a 48-hour period in the NRS group. Satisfaction levels with pain relief were higher in the NRS group than in the NCA group (maximum satisfaction =43 [55.8%] vs 9 [11.8%], respectively; P=0.0001).
Conclusions: The findings of this study showed the efficacy of the self-report pain intensity scale in controlling patients’ pain, using adequate and appropriate analgesics, prescribing accurate amounts of medication based on patients’ pain, and increasing patients’ satisfaction with pain relief. (Iranian Heart Journal 2022; 23(1): 205-213)


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