Photo by Jesper Aggergaard on Unsplash

Creating Pain Scale Surveys with Text Messaging

There are several scales for measuring pain and text messaging is a technology that can make gathering pain assessments much easier. Participants can appreciate the ease of completing pain surveys through text with researchers able to track the progression of patients simply and in real-time. Here are several pain scales that can be used to assess the extent of patients’ pain through an effective text messaging service.

Numerical Rating Scale One of the most commonly used pain surveys is the numerical rating pain tool. The proper text messaging services can make gathering pain assessments with this popular scale much easier. You can send the participants a text message to rate their pain from 0 to 10 with 10 representing the most excruciating pain possible and 0 representing no pain at all. Responses require a “one key” reply, easily done from literally any mobile phone, whether or not it is a smartphone.

Faces Scales Faces scales are designed to access pain with different expressions ranging from no pain to intolerable pain. To make this type of pain scale survey easier for participants, we’ve devised a way to use emojis in place of traditional faces. Researchers can then assign a numerical rating to each of the emojis.

Brief Pain Inventory Scale The brief pain inventory scale is a fast and simple tool for researchers to measure pain. This pain assessment enables patients to answer questions about their pain felt over the past twenty-four hours, and our text messaging service offer participants the opportunity to complete the study virtually anywhere.

McGill Scale Known as one of the most widely used multidimensional pain scales, the mcgill pain assessment allows patients to respond to questions in questionnaire form. With text messaging software, patients can rate their pain by choosing the words in the text that closely resembles how they are feeling. In fact, patients can select a response from a multiple choice list. A few examples of the words used in the text are cold, sharp tender, hot, and intense. After patients have responded to the questionnaire via text message, researchers can then access their level of pain by using a numerical score based on the number of pain related words that were selected.

Mankoski Scale The mankoski pain tool features numbers and corresponding descriptions to obtain an accurate representation of the patients’ pain. Here are some potential descriptions that can be sent from our text messaging platform: “cannot be ignored for more than twenty minutes,” “like a severe toothache,” and “barely noticeable.”

Color Analog Scale The color analog scale uses colors to represent a patient’s pain. While severe pain is represented by the color red, a sense of calm and comfort is represented by the color green. Moderate pain is represented by the color yellow. If the software you’re using supports sending images via text message (aka MMS), the color analog scale can be sent to participants’ phones through the platform. Many patients may find that the colors in the scale actually help them understand their pain better.

A scale with colors, faces, and numbers.
A scale with colors, faces, and numbers. Something like this can be sent via MMS.

Choosing The Best Features For Successful Pain Scale Surveys When looking for the best text message survey software for pain scales, it’s important to ensure it meets all of your needs. Privacy and data security are a given. You’ll want to know that our IRB will approve the vendor you have selected. With regards to other features, we feel it is very important to select a vendor that offers services catering to your work process and tasks in clinical research. Choosing accordingly will help save you time, money, and resources. We’re focused in the field of clinical research. Naturally, we feel that puts us at the top of many of our client’s lists when selecting a vendor. If you have any questions about how we can help, please let us know. Are you looking to improve participant engagement, increase retention, integrate text-based interventions, or collect data in your research? If so, contact us for a free consultation, or you can get quick access to our pricing guide here.