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VOLUME 24 , ISSUE 8 ( August, 2020 ) > List of Articles


Clinical Utility of the Behavioral Pain Assessment Tool in Patients Admitted in the Intensive Care Unit

Sukanya Mitra, Kompal Jain, Jasveer Singh, Puja Saxena, Tenzin Nyima, Selwin R Selvam, Mansi C Walia

Citation Information : Mitra S, Jain K, Singh J, Saxena P, Nyima T, Selvam SR, Walia MC. Clinical Utility of the Behavioral Pain Assessment Tool in Patients Admitted in the Intensive Care Unit. Indian J Crit Care Med 2020; 24 (8):695-700.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10071-23521

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 14-12-2020

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2020; The Author(s).


Introduction: Unnoticed and unrelieved pain is one of the main sources of psychological and physiological stress for intensive care unit (ICU) patients. The eight-item behavior pain assessment tool (BPAT) is a multicountry validated tool to assess pain in ICU patients. However, its feasibility and clinical utility for ICU patients in India need further research. Aims and objectives: The Aims and objectives of the study were to assess pain using BPAT and its clinical utility in pain assessment and management in ICU patients. Materials and methods: Following ethical approval, 400 consecutive adult patients admitted in the ICUs in a tertiary care teaching hospital were assessed for pain severity using BPAT at intake, baseline pain and procedural pain. Patients <18 years and in deep coma on the Glasgow coma scale were excluded from the study. The patients with BPAT score ≥4 were given opioid analgesic, and their pain was reassessed after 2–3 hours. A feedback regarding feasibility and clinical utility was filled by the doctors. Results: High interrater agreement for BPAT was observed with excellent kappa coefficients (>0.85) for each item. The BPAT significantly guided the pain management (p < 0.0001). More than 90% of doctors found BPAT easy to understand and use. In most of the cases (95.5%), doctors agreed that BPAT can improve the clinical management of ICU patients. Conclusion: The BPAT is a reliable, brief, and an easy-to-use pain assessment tool, which clinicians can use for guiding pain assessment and management in the ICU setting on a routine basis. Clinical significance: We recommend implementing BPAT in the clinical practice for better pain assessment and control in ICU patients.

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