Patient Education Office
Wong-Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale

All patients may experience some pain from cancer or cancer treatment. Only the patient knows how much pain he/she has. Patients need to be able to communicate their pain to members of the health care team as well as to family members.

Communicating the Pain

Using a pain rating scale, like the one below, is helpful for young patients to communicate how much pain they are feeling.


Explain to the child that each face is for a person who feels happy because he has no pain (hurt) or sad because he has some or a lot of pain.
  • Face 0 is very happy because he doesn't hurt at all.
  • Face 1 hurts just a little bit.
  • Face 2 hurts a little more.
  • Face 3 hurts even more.
  • Face 4 hurts a whole lot more.
  • Face 5 hurts as much as you can imagine, although you do not have to be crying to feel this bad.

Ask the child to choose the face that best describes how he/she is feeling.

From Wong, DL, Hockenberry-Eaton M, Wilson D, Winkelstein ML, Schwartz P: Wong's
Essentials of Pediatric Nursing, ed. 6, St. Louis, 2001, p.1301. Copyrighted by Mosby, Inc.