The wilda approach Pain Assessment Guide




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The WILDA Approach

Pain Assessment Guide




Words to describe pain:

(Have patient describe; avoid providing words to patient)


What does your pain feel like? What words would you use to describe your pain?

aching throbbing shooting stabbing

gnawing sharp tender burning

exhausting penetrating nagging pressure

numb miserable unbearable dull

radiating tingling crampy deep


Intensity of the pain (0-10)?

On a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being no pain and 10 being the worst pain you can imagine… What is your pain now? Has its intensity changed? What has it been in the last 24 hours?



Location of the pain? Where is your pain? Is there more than one site?




Duration of the pain. When did your pain start? How often does it occur? Is the pain always there? Does the pain come and go? (Breakthrough Pain)




Aggravating/alleviating factors. What makes your pain better? What makes your pain worse?



Additional Areas for Assessment

Vital signs, past medication history, knowledge of pain management, and use of non-pharmacologic pain relief techniques




How does the pain affect physical and social functioning?


sleep energy relationships appetite activity mood

Is patient experiencing pain medication side effects?


constipation sedation itching nausea urinary retention

confusion vomiting dry mouth hallucinations


Permission for the use of the WILDA Approach was given by Regina Fink, RN, PhD, FAAN, AOCN, University of Colorado Hospital, Denver


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