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Evaluating women’s experiences of labour pain: beyond a generic pain scale
  1. Tanya Capper1,
  2. Bridget Ferguson2
  1. 1 Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine, Australian Catholic University, Banyo, Queensland, Australia
  2. 2 School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Sciences, CQUniversity Australia, Norman Gardens, Queensland, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Tanya Capper, Nursing, Midwifery and Social Sciences, Australian Catholic University Faculty of Health Sciences, Banyo, QLD, 4014, Australia; t.capper{at}

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Commentary on: Zhang EW, Jones LE, Whitburn LY. Tools for assessing labour pain: a comprehensive review of research literature. Pain. 2023 Dec 1;164(12):2642-2652. doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000003004. Epub 2023 Aug 2.

Implications for practice and research

  • Pain scales used during labour and birth must capture the multidimensional nature of pain, inclusive of positive and negative pain perceptions and no pain.

  • New strategies must be developed to capture the multidimensional nature of labour pain to guide appropriate responses to women’s unique needs.


Labour pain is a complex experience influenced by several factors.1 To provide women with the appropriate support, it is crucial for caregivers to assess their pain. However, accurately measuring another’s pain, especially in non-pathological situations, is challenging,2 especially as there are limited multidimensional pain assessment tools available. The historical focus of pain assessment has been …

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  • X @tanya_capper

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.