The Controlling Pain Vignettes Survey (CPVS)

Author of Tool: 

McCaffery, M., Ferrell, B. R., & O'Neil-Page, E.

Key references: 

McCaffery, M. & Ferrell, B. R. (1991). How would you respond to these patients in pain?
Nursing 91, June, 34-37.

McCaffery, M. & Ferrell, B. R. (1991). Patient age: Does it affect your pain-control
decisions? Nursing, 91, September, 44-48.

McCaffery, M. & Ferrell, B. R. (1992). How vital are vital signs? Nursing 92, January, 43-46.

McCaffery, M., Ferrell, B. R., & and O'Neil-Page, E. (1992). Does life style affect your
pain-control decisions? Nursing 92, April, 58, 60-61.

Primary use / Purpose: 

The Controlling Pain Vignettes Survey (CPVS) is a four part survey in which nurses are presented with four pairs of patients as hypothetical case studies. The four pairs of patients differ according to four criteria: behaviour, age, vital signs, and lifestyle. The purpose of the survey is to measure the influence of these four criteria on nurse's assessments of patient pain.


Nurses are forced to make difficult decisions when presented with patients who are experiencing pain. Ethical dilemmas can also arise around issues such over-medication, under-medication, and opioid side effects to name a few. It is important to gain an understanding of how nurses make these decisions so that more insight can be gained into the factors influencing those decision making processes. This survey is the product of four separate studies, each investigating one specific factor which may be influential during nurses’ assessments of patient pain.



Other Information: 


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