Pain intensity rating scale useful for all older adults, including those with mild to moderate cognitive impairment. Some older adults will find this tool easy to use, and may prefer it over the Numerical Rating Scale. This scale requires either verbal ability or the ability to point to the image on the scale that most closely represents their pain.


Say to the older adult something like - "I'd like you to tell me about the intensity of any pain you are having. I'm going to show you some pictures of some faces. The faces show how much pain or discomfort one is feeling. The face on the left shows no pain. Each face shows more and more pain up to the last face that shows the worst pain possible. Point to the face that shows how bad your pain is right NOW.” The scoring numbers are for clinician use only. Do not show the numbers to the person being assessed


Score the chosen face as 0, 2, 4, 6, 8 or 10, counting left to right with 0= “no pain” and 10 ‘ “worst pain possible”

FACES Pain Scale

Used with permission from IASP. For clinical, educational, or research purposes, use of the FPS-R is free of charge, and permission for use is not needed, provided that the scale is not modified or altered in any way. (Access to multiple languages on download link)

PDF iconFACES Pain Scale - PDF Version