Pain as the fifth vital sign

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


An increasingly common query from patients relate to the recommendation that pain be considered the fifth vital sign. The American Pan Society championed that effort several years ago to increase patients' awareness that pain should be asked about, monitored, and managed. Now the federal Department of Veterans Affairs has also adopted this terminology in its pain management programs. Another common question from patients is when back pain should be considered serious. These two topics are addressed in language suitable for patient counseling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-79
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2005


  • Back pain
  • Fifth vital sign
  • Pain
  • Patient counseling
  • Serious

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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