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The usefulness of a pain assessment instrument is enhanced in general practice if the score can be linked to an intervention level, which is informative as to whether or not an animal requires analgesic treatment. Previously the authors described the derivation of an intervention level for the Glasgow Composite Measure Pain Scale (CMPS) short form tool for assessing acute pain in dogs (Reid and others 2007). More recently, the authors reported the validation of a behaviour-based tool (the revised composite measure pain scale (rCMPS)-F) for the assessment of acute pain in cats that was developed using psychometric principles (Calvo and others 2014). It takes the form of a structured questionnaire completed by an observer following a standard protocol and includes assessment of spontaneous and evoked behaviours, interactions with the animal and clinical observations. Construction and clinical testing of the tool supported its validity and provided some evidence for responsiveness, but sensitivity was moderate (misclassification, 26.7 per cent). In order to improve the performance of the tool, a simple three-point facial scale, which in preliminary testing had performed very well in classifying cats in pain, was developed (Holden and others 2014) with the intention of embedding it within the behaviour-based cat tool, an approach adopted previously in paediatric medicine (CRIES (Krechel and others 1995); Premature Infant Pain Profile (Stevens and others 1996)). This communication describes a single, multicentre …
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