The Critical-Care Pain Observation Tool: A useful tool for pain assessment in intensive care units

Document Type : Review Article


1 Pulmonologist, Lung Disease Research Center, Ghaem Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Resident of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

3 Pulmonologist, Lung Diseases Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

4 Resident of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.


Pain is a major concern in all intensive care units (ICUs). The proper assessment and management of pain is one of the main goals of patient care in ICUs. Improper evaluation of pain and its over or under treatment can cause significant problems in the process of patient management in ICU. Since most ICU patients are unable to communicate correctly with the ICU team and explain their level of pain, pain assessment can be challenging. Thus, several assessment tools for the evaluation of pain were developed, few of which were validated. Critical Care Pain Observation Tool is a valid and reliable instrument for pain assessment in different ICUs.


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