Date of Award

Spring 2009

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Gene Harkless


Because critically ill patients are often not able to self report the presence of pain, an observer rating scale, the Critical Care Pain Observation Tool (CPOT) was developed for pain assessment of critically ill patients. This research examines the reliability and validity of the CPOT via replication of the original research study that developed the tool. Utilizing a repeated measures design, two nurse observers used the CPOT to score patient pain behaviors during rest, with repositioning and after repositioning. Results show fair to almost perfect interrater reliability and good discriminant validity of the instrument. The Critical Care Pain Observation Tool is a promising instrument for assessment of pain in critically ill patients.