Table 2.

The “PQRST” approach to evaluating pain (11)

Components of the AssessmentQuestions to Explore
P=Provokes and palliatesWhat causes the pain?
What makes the pain better or worse?
Q=QualityWhat does the pain feel like?
Is it sharp? Dull? Stabbing? Burning? Crushing?
R=Region and radiationWhere is the pain located?
Is it confined to one place?
Does the pain radiate? If so, where to?
S=SeverityHow severe is the pain?
T=Time (or Temporal)When did the pain start?
Is it present all of the time?
Are you pain-free at night or during the day?
Are you pain-free on movement?