Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Nursing Best Practice Guidelines

Assessment of Pain: Supplementary Questions to Consider during Assessment of Pain

Effect and understanding of current illness


  • What do you understand about why you are having pain?

Meaning of pain


  • What concerns do you have about your pain?

Patients typical coping responses to stress and pain


  • What help do you need to deal with your pain?

Economic effect of the pain and its treatment


  • Has this pain affected your finances and do you have any concerns about medication costs, etc.?

Distress caused by the pain


  • How much has this pain impacted on you?
  • How much has this pain impacted your relationships with others?
  • How much does this pain impact on your usual activities?

Concerns about the use of opioid, anxiolytic or other medications


  • Do you have any fears or concerns about using opioids or any other medications for pain?


For additional questions, please refer to the Brief Pain Inventory (Appendix E – 8).