Abbey Pain Scale

Execute an effective pain management plan for your non-verbal patients with dementia. Determine their pain severity immediately using the Abbey Pain Scale.

By Chloe Smith on Jun 20, 2024.

Fact Checked by Nate Lacson.

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Abbey Pain Scale PDF Example
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What is the Abbey Pain Scale?

An is a pain management assessment tool designed to recognize and evaluate patients' pain severity with cognitive impairment and communication difficulties. More specifically, the Abbey Pain Scale was developed to help medical practitioners care for non-verbal patients at the end stages of dementia.

The scale has six categories: Vocalization, Facial Expression, Change in Body Language, Behavioral Change, Physiological Change, and Physical Changes. Written in each category are particular exhibited behaviors of a patient in pain. At the bottom is a final description of the pain severity and type of pain a patient may be experiencing, depending on the obtained score.

It is designed as such because dementia patients at this stage aren’t only unable to verbalize their concerns, pinpoint the source of their pain and request immediate relief. By recognizing their pain early on, practitioners and caretakers can prevent further complications brought about by unaddressed or mismanaged pain, such as further injury, worse dementia symptoms, and depression.

Printable Abbey Pain Scale

Download this Abbey Pain Scale and evaluate your client’s pain levels.

How Does this Abbey Pain Scale Work?

Step One. Access the Template

Search for the template in Carepatron’s template library and download it for printing or editing digitally. Don’t forget to fill out the basic information written at the top. 

Step Two. Observe the Patient 

You must conduct your test when the patient is moving or in the middle of a task as part of their daily care plan. Therefore, it’s best to have someone observe while you move the patient or vice versa for accuracy. However, if you’re flying solo, you may still conduct the test as long as you mentally take note of your observations. 

Step Three. Fill Out the Worksheet

Write down the corresponding scores per category in the empty boxes. To get the total score, add all the scores obtained. Afterwards, immediately identify the pain severity based on the score and the type of pain according to the severity.

Step Four. Track Progress Hourly

To determine the effectiveness of the pain relief medication, utilize the modified Abbey Pain Scale template when doing hourly checks. If the pain severity increases or remains unchanged, a GP or other medical practitioner that may help must be called on for consultation.

Abbey Pain Scale Example

Here’s an example of a filled-out Abbey Pain Scale Template. 

Feel free to utilize this sample to guide you through the initial and consecutive hourly assessments. Once you’ve understood, don’t forget to access your free copy on Carepatron or download and print a physical copy.

Download this Abbey Pain Scale Example (Sample) here:

Abbey Pain Scale Example (Sample)

When to Use an Abbey Pain Scale PDF?

An Abbey Pain Scale can be used whenever you require a pain assessment tool. However, before you download a PDF copy of the Abbey Pain Scale, similar to other pain scales, you must consider the condition of the patient it’s designed for, the duration of tracking, etc. Therefore, it’s best when you use an Abbey Pain Scale:

  • For those with communication difficulties or cognitive impairment. More specifically, non-verbal patients with dementia. 
  • For tracking pain when a patient is moving while accomplishing daily activities.
  • For identifying pain severity alone and not distress or distress caused by pain the patient is experiencing. 
  • For determining if administered pain medication is effective hourly for a maximum of 24 hours. 

An Abbey Pain Scale is relatively subjective; hence, it's best to use a more comprehensive template for more detailed assessments or results of a physical examination. 

Who is this Printable Abbey Pain Scale for? 

This printable Abbey Pain Scale is available for anyone caring for a dementia patient or even a non-verbal patient who needs assistance. To be more specific, the practitioners who can benefit from this template are:

  • General Practitioners
  • Geriatricians
  • Nurses (Health, District, Community, Practice)
  • Physiotherapists
  • Chiropodists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Social Care Professionals (Domiciliary Care Workers and Personal Care Workers)
  • Health Care Workers

Since the Abbey Pain Scale is easy to use and understand, it’d be beneficial for caregivers and family members, especially those who interact with the patient often, to have a copy on hand or nearby. Hospitals, nursing homes, and community centers can also carry copies of the template that anyone can use.  

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Benefits of the Free Abbey Pain Scale Template

Provides Quantitive Results

By providing quantitative results such as the one on the Abby Pain Scale Template, practitioners in charge of the patient’s pain management can be more accurate with intervention, whether that is their approach or even the medication dosage to be administered. 

Early Recognition

Recognizing a patient with dementia’s pain can be challenging, especially if they cannot verbalize their concerns. Hence, when you notice a change in their demeanor, you can immediately utilize the Abbey Pain Scale and intervene before their condition worsens.  

Helps Track Progress

It’s recommended that practitioners who observe the patient’s condition after medication administration conduct hourly follow-ups to see if the patient’s pain improves, worsens, or remains unchanged. With this Abbey Pain Scale Template, you can see the changes at a glance and effortlessly compare scores. 


Having an Abbey Pain Scale accessible to relevant parties will expedite the process from pain recognition to management or treatment, even if multiple practitioners handle it. 

Builds Synergistic Relationships

A handful of people are involved when caring for a non-verbal patient with dementia. However, with accessible templates one can use as a reference, medical practitioners can effortlessly communicate and collaborate on the best care plan for the patient.

Why use an Abbey Pain Scale app?

Carepatron, a leading practice management software accessible as an application on your iOS, Android, and desktop device, comes with the means and tools to aid you in delivering stellar patient care. We have premium plans at an affordable price, perfect for organizations and basic plans for free for solo practitioners. Whether you avail of one or the other, you will still have access to the essential tools to reduce the mental and physical load needed to accomplish administrative tasks.

Once you sign up to Carepatron, first and foremost, you’ll find an abundance of templates, such as the Abbey Pain Scale, in our template library. These resources are downloadable, digitally editable, and accessible on any gadget, anytime and anywhere. And once you’ve filled them up, you can also store them in Carepatron. We are a reliable and secure EHR for your notes because of the HIPAA-compliant security measures we’ve set in place. Aside from those, our tools will ensure you can effortlessly schedule appointments, conduct virtual sessions, view patient history, and automate medical billing.

All of these are possible with Carepatron! Don’t miss out, and sign up now.

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Why is an Abbey Pain Scale popular?
Why is an Abbey Pain Scale popular?

Commonly asked questions

Why is an Abbey Pain Scale popular?

Its popularity is due to the endorsement of the Australian Pain Society and its frequency of use in management strategies.

How do you score the Abbey Pain Scale?

You score the Abbey Pain Scale by observing your patient's responses, reactions, or behaviors and scoring your observations with the corresponding values equivalent to a particular frequency or intensity in the empty boxes. 

You can obtain the total score by adding all the values from Q1 to Q6.

Who created the Abbey Pain Scale?

Dr. Jennifer Abbey was the creator of the Abbey Pain Scale in 2018.

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