Society Position Statement| Volume 23, ISSUE 1, P68-75, February 2022

Prescribing and Administering Opioid Doses Based Solely on Pain Intensity: Update of A Position Statement by the American Society for Pain Management Nursing

Published:December 19, 2021DOI:


      The foundation of safe and effective pain management is an individualized, comprehensive pain assessment that includes, but is not limited to, the intensity of pain if the patient is able to report it. An unforeseen consequence of the widespread use of pain intensity rating scales is the practice of prescribing specific doses of opioid analgesics based solely on specific pain intensity ratings. Many factors in addition to pain intensity influence opioid requirements. To date there is no research demonstrating that a specific opioid dose will relieve pain of a specific intensity in all patients or even in the same patient at different times. The official position of the American Society for Pain Management Nursing (ASPMN) maintains that the practice of prescribing doses of opioid analgesics based solely on pain intensity should be prohibited because it disregards the relevance of other essential elements of assessment and may contribute to untoward patient outcomes.
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