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Chronic pain is a major cause of illness, disability, and is poorly understood and undertreated by health care professionals. Numerous misconceptions regarding chronic pain in older individuals has led certain health care agencies to require the use of pain scales for pain evaluation in all health care patients. yet, there is research lacking as to which pain scales are appropriate for use with chronic pain, ventilator-dependent, older individuals. The Wong-Baker Faces Scale and Numeric Pain Scale was administered to a convenience sample of male/female patients in a Southeastern, 44-bed, long-term care ventilator hospital. The purpose of this study was to compare the two scales for: (1) pain score agreement, and (2) patient preference for use in expressing pain. Significant findings will validate, refine, and generate nursing knowledge regarding chronic pain, improve nursing assessment of the chronic pain ventilator patient, and add to nursing theory and practice.

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