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Implications for practice and research
When parents assess pain responses, using a numerical pain rating scale, in children who are non-verbal and have a learning disability (LD), they most often equate responses to pain extremes (scoring 0 or 10 accordingly) or at the midpoint (5).
Children's pain responses change qualitatively with pain severity; reducing the content of current tools or developing alternative briefer tools to improve feasibility may reduce the validity of pain assessment in children who are non-verbal and have LD.
Assessing pain in children who are non-verbal and have learning disability (LD) is challenging. Yet these children experience frequent and significant pain because of complex concomitant health conditions.1 It is widely perceived that pain responses in these children are idiosyncratic and parents report that ‘knowing’ their child is an …
Competing interests None.