Faces Pain Scale

Help your patients express their pain level with the Faces Pain Scale and better understand their well-being. Discover greater clarity, and manage emotions more effectively for improved comfort.

By Patricia Buenaventura on Jun 20, 2024.

Fact Checked by Nate Lacson.

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Faces Pain Scale PDF Example
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What is a Faces Pain Scale?

Donna Wong and Connie Baker developed the Faces Pain Scale. The Faces Pain Scale is a visual diagram that doubles as one of the known self-report pain scales that includes faces representing each level of pain. We have created a Printable Faces Pain Scale that can be used for children to help them identify and communicate the amount of pain that they are feeling. Using this free printable faces pain scale, practitioners can better identify and manage pain to reduce discomfort and work towards improved healthcare experiences.

This nonverbal assessment relies on facial expressions when identifying and reporting pain severity. No prior knowledge or extensive instructions are required, meaning it is suitable for healthcare professionals to use for various ages.

The Faces Pain Scale has six faces, each representing a pain score. This is the pain level that each of the faces indicates:

  • 0 - No hurt
  • 2 - Hurts a little bit
  • 4 - Hurts a little more
  • 6 - Hurts even more
  • 8 - Hurts a whole lot
  • 10 - Hurts worst

But even if they aren't children, this can be used for any individual who is experiencing pain. It is often an effective tool for people who either have difficulty understanding and communicating their pain level or those with developmental disabilities.

Evidence of effectiveness

The scale has been clinically proven to provide a more accurate pain assessment compared to a functional pain scale, particularly in children. Parents do not typically provide correct judgments when it comes to pain experiences, with children being able to highlight what best represents them. This also extends to healthcare professionals, who may not be able to pick up on subtle signs of pain in specific children, especially given that pain is a subjective experience.

However it is important to note that some children may not be able to indicate their pain levels accurately. For instance, the faces made may not correspond with a face on the pain scale. In these cases, it is best to pick the face with the closest resemblance for higher accuracy.

Printable Faces Pain Scale

Download this Faces Pain Scale and help your clients communicate the level of pain they are experiencing.

Printable Faces Pain Scale

Download this Faces Pain Scale and help your clients communicate the level of pain they are experiencing.

How to use this Faces Pain Scale

If you're wondering how to use the free Faces Pain Scale Assessment, there will be a Faces Pain Scale example on how to fill it out. But to get you started, here is a step-by-step guide explaining how the scale can be accessed and implemented.

Step 1: Download the PDF

The first thing you need to do is download the Faces Pain Scale PDF. 

Step 2: Provide instructions

Explain to your clients or patients how it's going to work. Briefly go through each of the faces so they understand how the assessment works.

Step 3: Fill out the worksheet

Ask them the questions you need answers to and fill out the assessment template. You can include the date and time of the assessment, the pain level, and the treatment plan.

Step 4: Analyze the findings

The assessment will help you find out how your clients or patients feel and check what's happening with them. You'll also be able to ascertain the proper treatment to improve their health.

Step 5: Store the documents securely

The assessments contain your patient or client's information, so make sure to secure them safely when completed. You can do this with Carepatron, which is a HIPAA-compliant platform that ensures the safety of your patient's privacy.

Faces Pain Scale example (sample)

We made it easy for you to use the Faces Pain Scale free template. Here's a Faces Pain Scale sample to guide you in answering the assessment.

Download this Faces Pain Scale Example (Sample) here:

Faces Pain Scale Assessment Template Example (Sample)

When would you typically use a Faces Pain Scales?

When your patient needs to report the severity of the pain they're feeling but can't explain their feelings in a detailed way; this is where Faces Pain Scales come to play.

You can use the Faces Pain Scale Assessment template to help them express their pain - whether that's chronic or acute pain. Usually, this is great for children who know how emotions work. But it's also applicable to individuals with impaired brain development or difficulty communicating their feelings verbally. This will allow you to assess them properly and provide the best care.

Who can use these Printable Faces Pain Scales?

The Faces Pain Scale is designed to help various healthcare practitioners attend to patients precisely, such as:

  • Nurses
  • Doctors
  • Dentists
  • Speech-language pathologists
  • Child life specialists
  • Emergency medical technicians
  • Physical therapists
  • Occupational therapists

Why is this assessment popular with physical therapists?

Let's explore why physical therapists use the Faces Pain Scale assessment. 

Improved visual representation

Using a visual diagram, the scale allows patients to identify their pain level by relating to the represented facial expressions. 

Simple to use

You only need to download the PDF, print it for in-person sessions, or customize it for online sessions. It's editable, so it's convenient for you and your patients.

Widely recognize

Faces Pain Scales are widely used and recognized in the medical industry. And because of its research, Faces Pain Scales have become an effective tool for assessing patients' pain levels.

Benefits of Free Faces Pain Scale

Here are five benefits of using the Faces Pain Scale in your practice:


The Free Faces Pain Scale assessment can be used in different practice settings as long as it helps practitioners achieve their goals.

Objective evaluation

You can assess the patient's needs because they can specify how they feel using the Faces Pain Scale.


You don't need to create or draw your own Faces Pain Scale. All you have to do is download Carepatron's Free Faces Pain Scale assessment template, and it's ready to use. You can print it or send it to your patient.

Enhance communication

The best thing about Faces Pain Scale is children and individuals who have difficulties speaking can pinpoint their pain levels. This makes understanding and giving them the medication they need easier.

Provide treatments

Knowing their pain level, you can provide specific treatments or medication based on how much they're hurting.

Why use Carepatron for Faces Pain Scale Software?

Using Carepatron for Faces Pain Scale Software makes it convenient for you to store and access your documents safely. It's HIPAA-compliant, so you can ensure that your patient's information is well-protected.

But it doesn't end there. Suppose you're a healthcare practitioner who needs help doing administrative tasks, like scheduling, managing appointments, conducting video calls, accessing templates, sending invoices, and receiving payments. In that case, Carepatron is the solution you need.

With Carepatron, you can streamline your business operation. This way, you can spend more time with people who deserve your time and attention the most— your patients.

General Practice Software


Wong-Baker FACES Foundation. (2020, January 10). History of the Wong-Baker FACES® Pain Rating Scale | Wong-Baker FACES® Foundation. https://wongbakerfaces.org/us/wong-baker-faces-history/

Why use Faces Pain Scale?
Why use Faces Pain Scale?

Commonly asked questions

Why use Faces Pain Scale?

Using Faces Pain Scale can help children and individuals communicate their pain level, especially those with impaired brain function and verbal difficulties. This is the perfect way to understand the severity of pain they are experiencing to help reduce it, and make treatment as comfortable as possible.

How to use the faces pain scale?

First, brief the patients and make sure they understand each pain level. Next, ask them to point to the face representing their feelings. Then, record the amount of pain and assess the patients.

What age should your patients be to use the faces pain scale?

You can use the faces pain scale for children at least 3 years old. They must understand emotions and facial expressions to help them identify their pain level accurately. But this can also be used for teenagers, adults, and elderly who struggle to express their pain level.

What is the Wong-Baker FACES pain scale?

The Wong-Baker FACES pain scale was produced by the Wong Baker Foundation, and is the basis of most faces pain scales from around the world. While this pain scale takes inspiration from the Wong-Baker version, it has been adapted for improvements.

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