Visual Analog Scale


The visual analogue scale (VAS) is a scale used to determine the pain intensity experienced by individuals. It consists of a line, approximately 10-15 cm in length, with the left side signifying no pain with a smiling face image and the right side signifying the worst pain ever with a frowning face image. The VAS is used to assist individuals to determine pain levels, who may not be accustomed to rating their pain on other types of scales, such as a numeric rating scale.

Individuals point to or mark a spot on the line where they feel indicates their current level of pain. The distance between no pain and the mark made by the individual creates the pain level. Individual pain tolerance levels can affect the outcome of a VAS. The elderly population may need additional support when using this type of pain scale.

The VAS can be used as a rapid measure of symptom severity. It can also be used to monitor disease and pain progression. The effectiveness of allergic rhinitis (AR) therapy is monitored via the VAS. Combined with other technology, the VAS accurately documents symptom severity, treatment effectiveness, and AR. The VAS is a useful substitute to other psychometric scales. It is simple, time saving and reasonably accurate.