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BOTTEGA, Fernanda Hanke  and  FONTANA, Rosane Teresinha. Pain as the fifth vital sign: use of the assessment scale by nurses in general hospital. Texto contexto - enferm. [online]. 2010, vol.19, n.2, pp.283-290. ISSN 0104-0707.

This descriptive study aimed to describe nursing impressions on using a visual analogue scale for assessing pain in adults. Data was collected through a questionnaire administered to 14 nurses at a hospital. Data analysis, using thematic analysis, resulted in six categories: pain assessment and its importance; pain assessment enabling humanization of care; the pain scale measuring subjectivity; pain assessment enabling humanization of care; guiding the implementation of scale-making; the evolution of care, and pain as a fifth vital sign. The use of the scale enabled nurses to perceive pain as the fifth vital sign, as well as allowed them to monitor the effectiveness of care and humanize it. It can be inferred that using a scale in assessing pain facilitates nursing decision-making by encouraging attentive care to patients' needs.

Keywords : Pain; Nursing assessment; Patient care.

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