Original Research

Validity and Reliability of Neonatal Infant Pain Scale (NIPS) in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Vietnam


Background: The study aimed to culturally adapt and validate Neonatal Infant Pain Scale (NIPS) for use in Vietnamese settings.

Methods: The original NIPS was translated into Vietnamese using a standard protocol. Registered nurses of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Tien Giang General Hospital, Vietnam used the Vietnamese NIPS for assessing neonatal pain and then provided feedback on acceptability of the scale. Five registered nurses of NICU were randomly selected and used NIPS for assessing neonatal pain while watching thirty videos at two times, two weeks apart from each other. Pulse rates per minute and oxygen saturation (SpO2) were also recorded for validity evaluation. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) with two-way random effects were applied to assess intra-rater and inter-rater reliability. Multilevel linear regression was applied to assess the association between NIPS score with pulse rates and SpO2 adjusting for raters, three periods and two assessments.

Results: The Vietnamese NIPS was accepted and valued by nurses at the NICU. ICCs between the first and second assessments were from 0.53 to 1.00 for five raters before, during and after clinical procedures showing moderate to excellent intra-rater reliability. ICCs among five raters were moderate to good before and after, but poor (ICC<0.4) during clinical procedures. NIPS score was not associated with SpO2, but with pulse rates per minute.

Conclusions: The preliminary results showed that the Vietnamese version of NIPS is reliable and should be used. However, it is recommended that further research should be conducted to confirm its reliability and validity.

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