Psychophysical scaling in pain in newborns: component comparison analysis

  • Rosana Maria Tristão
  • Naiara Viudes Martins Garcia
  • José Alfredo Lacerda de Jesus
  • Carlos Tomaz


COMFORT behavior scale (Cb) has been applied in neonatal units to measure pain in newborns. This study aimed to analyze parameter Ìs scale testing if they differ in sensibility to pain. The scores were correlated to skin conductance activity (SCA). Thirty-six newborns were videotaped whilst heel prick. The images were analyzed in three intervals: before, during and after the pain event. Cb scale scores were compared to SCA variables: number of waves/sec and area under curves in three different time intervals after the pain event: 15, 30 and 180sec. All factors of Cb were sensitive to changes among periods during-before and after-during. Significant correlations values were found between Cb and number of waves (r < 0.6). Facial Tension was the gold standard response to pain meanwhile factors as Crying and Calmness can be considered poor indicators of pain. These results are discussed in terms of phenomenological approach and anxiety paradigm.

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