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FACES Frequently Asked Questions

We have patients who are unresponsive, due to their illness, injury, or medications.  Is it possible to use the Wong-Baker FACES® Pain Rating Scale by comparing the patient’s face to the faces on the scale?

The Wong-Baker FACES® Pain Rating Scale (FACES Scale) is a self-assessment tool.  The patient must be able to understand the tool and be able to indicate which face most closely depicts the pain experience.  This is not the tool to use for unresponsive patients. Nor should it be used by a third party to assess someone else’s pain.

We would like to add color to the faces.  Is this possible?

We do not give permission for colors to be added to the faces in the FACES Scale. The focus of the scale is to assess pain and its simplicity works.  The integrity of the scale’s reliability and validity is known for the version we provide.  We know that color is very subjective, which was supported during research with pediatric patients, where we saw no consistent spectrum of colors chosen by children to visually express their pain.

If we are using the Wong-Baker FACES® Pain Rating Scale in a publication, do we need special permission?

Yes, to contact the Foundation by complete this webform for Publishing Use, email [email protected],  or call 405-608-8083.  Depending on your project, we may establish a licensing agreement and fee. We look forward to working with you to accomplish your goals.

We would like to use the Wong-Baker FACES® Pain Rating Scale in a commercial product.  What steps do we need to take?

To contact the Foundation please complete this webform for Commercial Use, email [email protected], or call 405-608-8083.  We want to hear about your project and how you plan to use the scale.  We work individually with each project on a licensing agreement and fee.

We would like to use the Wong-Baker FACES® Pain Rating Scale in a research project/clinical trials.  Do we need permission or a licensing agreement?

We support the use of the scale in research and clinical trials.  Contact us by completing this webform for Research Use, email [email protected], or call 405-608-8083. Let us know about your project.  We will determine if a licensing agreement or fee is needed.

Is it possible to modify the FACES scale to assess emotional or mental states? 

No.  The scale may not be modified.  The FACES scale is created for pain assessment and has not been authorized or studied as an assessment tool for emotional or mental states.

My organization is using the Wong-Baker FACES® Pain Rating Scale with clients.  Does the organization have to be licensed to use the scale?

It may need a license.  Organizations currently using or desire to use the FACES Scale may learn more about licensing at Access to Scale and complete the webform or contact us at [email protected] or call us at 405-608-8083. We can let you know whether you have an existing license or if one is needed, so you can have access to our high-resolution images.

Download your copy of our Frequently Asked Questions here.