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McGill Pain Scale




The McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ) is a self-reporting measure of pain used for patients with a number of diagnoses. It assesses both quality and intensity of subjective pain.

Intended Population

Validated for patients with Cancer, Chronic Pelvic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Headaches, Herniated intervertebral discs, Ischemic muscular pain, Low back pain, Lumbago-sciatica, Orthodontics / Dental pain, Postoperative complications, Rheumatic pain, Trigeminal neuralgia and atypical facial pain, Vulvar pain

Method of Use

The MPQ is composed of 78 words, of which respondents choose those that best describe their experience of pain. Seven words are selected from the following categories: dimension 1 to 10 (pain descriptors), three words; dimensions 11 to 15 (affective components of pain), dimension 16 (evaluation of pain) one word, and dimension 17 to 20 (miscellaneous) one word. Scores are tabulated by summing values associated with each word; scores range from 0 (no pain) to 78 (severe pain). Qualitative differences in pain may be reflected in respondent’s word choice [1]



  1. Melzack, R. “The McGill Pain Questionnaire: major properties and scoring methods.” Pain 1975 1(3): 277-299