Fall 2017 Recap 3 – Semiotics of Pain

Visual Analogue Scale (VAS)

One of the most common medical symptoms is a pain, and the differences between various pains can be very slight and very difficult to describe or explain. For patients with Limited English Proficiency (LEP), it is even more difficult to communicate different kinds of pain to language discordant providers. To help LEP patients, I visualized different kinds of pain.


It is difficult to explain and describe pain especially for non-English speaker


Help non-English speaking patients to communicate their pain with healthcare providers easily






  • Color is very important
  • Animation can add more details and dimensions to the visualization
  • Drawing or painting can be therapeutic
  • Asking patients to draw the pain can reveal more about the pain they are experiencing
  • It is difficult to distinguish between kinds of pains
    EX) tugging vs pulling, burning vs searing

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