The aim of this study was to evaluate the visual analogue scale (VAS) as a method of pruritus assessment. A total of 310 subjects with pruritic dermatoses (148 Caucasian subjects and 162 Asian subjects) were recruited. The patients assessed pruritus intensity using the horizontal and vertical VAS, numeric rating scale (NRS) and verbal rating scale (VRS). All scales showed very good repro-ducibility (intraclass coeffcient (ICC) > 0.8). No significant differences were found between the horizontal and vertical VAS (5.3 ± 2.9 vs. 5.3 ± 3.0 points, p = 0.34). Using NRS, patients rated their pruritus signifcantly higher than with VAS (5.7 ± 2.6 points, p < 0.01). VRS showed the highest correlation with NRS (R = 0.82, p < 0.001), followed by horizontal (R = 0.75, p < 0.001) and vertical VAS (R = 0.74, p < 0.001). Based on detailed analysis following VAS categories were proposed: 0 = no pruritus, > 0-< 4 points = mild pruritus, ≥ 4 -< 7 points = moderate pruritus, ≥ 7-< 9 points = severe pruritus, and ≥ 9 points = very severe pruritus. In conclusion, the VA S is a valuable method of pruritus measurement.
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