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The use of box-counting method in the interpretation of Visual Analogue Scale scores

Thamer Ahmad A.K. Altaim1 , A.A. LeRoux


Clinicians in their clinical practices face great amounts of difficulties interpreting scores obtained from the pain outcome measures. In spite of long-standing critiques of visual analogue scales (VAS) for pain, no alternative method of measurement has been proposed, and researchers and clinicians have had no alternative to continue using this scale. This study proposed a method which would provide valid measurements on a VAS, one of the most commonly used outcome measures with a particular reference to the 10-cm version of VAS for pain. The method was the box-counting method. The integration of this new method in the interpretations of a patient’s sensation of pain would not only enable clinicians interpret measurements, but also it would help in planning or delivering treatments. The proposed method provided the certainty of the accuracy of a clinical interpretation of a score on the scale.

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