Pain intensity in cancer
Pain is a common, subjective, and multi-dimensional experience among patients with cancer. Pain intensity is recognized as one of the most clinically relevant dimensions of the pain experience (1). More than one-third of cancer patients with pain rated their pain intensity as moderate or severe (2). To ensure that patients receive optimal pain control, the Veterans Health Administration launched the “Pain as the 5th Vital Sign” initiative in 1999, requiring a pain intensity rating (0 to 10) for all clinical encounters (3). Joint Commission developed new standards for pain assessment and management in 1999, and integrated these standards into the survey process in 2001 (4).