Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Health Related Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Chuck Biddle


There are no reliable tools that evaluate pain in adult critical care patients who cannot communicate as a result of sedation or illness. This was an observational study in which postoperative cardiothoracic intensive care patients were assessed for pain using both the newly devised Corbett Pain Scale (CPS) and the Numerical Pain Scale (NPS). The CPS was evaluated for content validity, criterion validity, construct validity, test re-test reliability and internal consistency. Thirteen male and seven female patients (n=20) were enrolled and underwent a maximum of five pain assessments each. The mean total scores of the CPS (.740, SD+1.03) and the NRS (.000, SD+1.00) were compared using a paired t-test. No significant differences were found. There was poor internal consistency (-.1225) and there was insignificant correlation between the scales. Pain measurement of sedated, non-communicative patients continues to be problematic.


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