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Table 4 Summary of key evidence to support the verbal rating scale (VRS) in pain

From: Response scale selection in adult pain measures: results from a literature review

Reference Study type, evidence type a, and grade b Article recommendations and rationale
Olaogun et al. 2004 [25] Cross-sectional study, Direct, A The VRS and the VAS for low back pain are reliable for clinical use
Lund et al. 2005 [26] Prospective study, Direct, A Authors favor the VRS in pain intensity assessments over the VAS. The VAS data should be analyzed using statistical methods suitable for ordinal data.
de C. Williams et al. 2011 [27] Prospective study, Direct, A The VRS and NRS appeared to yield useful information in a post-conflict situation compared to the VAS which was difficult to explain and understand among participants in this study.
  1. a Direct evidence: Primary research that compares different response scales within study. Indirect evidence: Review or expert opinion based on empirical evidence
  2. b Grade Key: A) Primary research; compares different response scales within the study; B) Review or expert opinion; based on an empirical evidence base; C) Primary research; evaluates a single response scale type within the study; and D) Review or expert opinion, based on expert consensus, convention or historical experience