The Faces Pain Scale – Revised (FPS-R) is a self-report measure of pain intensity developed for children. It was adapted from the Faces Pain Scale to make it possible to score the sensation of pain on the widely accepted 0-to-10 metric. The scale shows a close linear relationship with visual analog pain scales across the age range of 4-16 years. It is easy to administer and requires no equipment except for the photocopied faces.
The absence of smiles and tears in this scale may be advantageous. It is particularly recommended for use with very young children. Numerical self-rating scales (0-10) can be used with most children older than 8 years of age, and behavioral observation scales are required for those unable to provide a self-report.
In the following instructions, say “Hurt” or “Pain,” whichever seems right for a particular child:
“These faces show how much something can hurt. This face [point to left-most face] shows no pain. The faces show more and more pain [point to each from left to right] up to this one. [point to right-most face] It shows very much pain. Point to the face that shows how much you hurt [right now].”
Score the chosen face 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, or 10, counting left to right, so “0” equals “No pain” and “10” equals “Very much pain.” Do not use words like “happy” and ‘”sad.” This scale is intended to measure how children feel inside, not how their face looks.