Evaluating the psychometric properties of the Widespread Pain Index and Symptom Severity scale in youth with painful conditions

Joanne Dudeney, Emily Law, Alagumeena Meyyappana, Tonya M. Palermo, Jennifer Rabbitts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Assessing features of centralized pain may prove to be clinically meaningful in pediatric populations. However, we are currently limited by the lack of validated pediatric measures.
Aim: We examined the psychometric properties of the Widespread Pain Index (WPI) and Symptom Severity (SS) scale to assess features of centralized pain in youth with painful conditions from three clinical samples: (1) musculoskeletal surgery, (2) headache, and (3) chronic pain.
Methods: Participants were 240 youth aged 10 to 18 years (Mage = 14.8, SD = 1.9) who completed the WPI and SS scale. Subsets of participants also completed additional measures of pain region, pain intensity, quality of life, pain interference, and physical function.
Results: Increased features of centralized pain by age were seen for the WPI (r = 0.27, P < 0.01) and SS scale (r = 0.29, P < 0.01). Expected differences in sex were seen for the WPI (sex: t132 = −3.62, P < 0.01) but not the SS scale (sex: t223 = −1.73, P = 0.09). Reliability for the SS scale was adequate (α = 0.70). Construct validity was demonstrated through relationships between the WPI and pain regions (r = 0.57, P < 0.01) and between the SS scale and quality of life (r = −0.59, P < 0.01) and pain interference (r = 0.56, P < 0.01). Criterion validity was demonstrated by differences on the WPI between the surgery sample and the headache and chronic pain samples (F2,237 = 17.55, P < 0.001). Comprehension of the SS scale items was problematic for some youth.
Conclusions: The WPI showed adequate psychometric properties in youth; however, the SS scale may need to be modified. Our findings support the need to develop psychometrically sound instruments for comprehensive assessment of pain in pediatric samples.
LanguageEnglish
Pages137-147
Number of pages11
JournalCanadian Journal of Pain
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Psychometrics
Pain
Pediatrics
Chronic Pain
Headache
Quality of Life
Pain Measurement
Sex Characteristics

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2019. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • chronic pain
  • child
  • centralised pain
  • pain distribution
  • pain location
  • widespread pain

Cite this

Dudeney, Joanne ; Law, Emily ; Meyyappana, Alagumeena ; Palermo, Tonya M. ; Rabbitts, Jennifer. / Evaluating the psychometric properties of the Widespread Pain Index and Symptom Severity scale in youth with painful conditions. In: Canadian Journal of Pain. 2019 ; Vol. 3, No. 1. pp. 137-147.
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Evaluating the psychometric properties of the Widespread Pain Index and Symptom Severity scale in youth with painful conditions. / Dudeney, Joanne; Law, Emily; Meyyappana, Alagumeena; Palermo, Tonya M.; Rabbitts, Jennifer.

In: Canadian Journal of Pain, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2019, p. 137-147.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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T1 - Evaluating the psychometric properties of the Widespread Pain Index and Symptom Severity scale in youth with painful conditions

AU - Dudeney, Joanne

AU - Law, Emily

AU - Meyyappana, Alagumeena

AU - Palermo, Tonya M.

AU - Rabbitts, Jennifer

N1 - Copyright the Author(s) 2019. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

PY - 2019

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N2 - Background: Assessing features of centralized pain may prove to be clinically meaningful in pediatric populations. However, we are currently limited by the lack of validated pediatric measures.Aim: We examined the psychometric properties of the Widespread Pain Index (WPI) and Symptom Severity (SS) scale to assess features of centralized pain in youth with painful conditions from three clinical samples: (1) musculoskeletal surgery, (2) headache, and (3) chronic pain.Methods: Participants were 240 youth aged 10 to 18 years (Mage = 14.8, SD = 1.9) who completed the WPI and SS scale. Subsets of participants also completed additional measures of pain region, pain intensity, quality of life, pain interference, and physical function.Results: Increased features of centralized pain by age were seen for the WPI (r = 0.27, P < 0.01) and SS scale (r = 0.29, P < 0.01). Expected differences in sex were seen for the WPI (sex: t132 = −3.62, P < 0.01) but not the SS scale (sex: t223 = −1.73, P = 0.09). Reliability for the SS scale was adequate (α = 0.70). Construct validity was demonstrated through relationships between the WPI and pain regions (r = 0.57, P < 0.01) and between the SS scale and quality of life (r = −0.59, P < 0.01) and pain interference (r = 0.56, P < 0.01). Criterion validity was demonstrated by differences on the WPI between the surgery sample and the headache and chronic pain samples (F2,237 = 17.55, P < 0.001). Comprehension of the SS scale items was problematic for some youth.Conclusions: The WPI showed adequate psychometric properties in youth; however, the SS scale may need to be modified. Our findings support the need to develop psychometrically sound instruments for comprehensive assessment of pain in pediatric samples.

AB - Background: Assessing features of centralized pain may prove to be clinically meaningful in pediatric populations. However, we are currently limited by the lack of validated pediatric measures.Aim: We examined the psychometric properties of the Widespread Pain Index (WPI) and Symptom Severity (SS) scale to assess features of centralized pain in youth with painful conditions from three clinical samples: (1) musculoskeletal surgery, (2) headache, and (3) chronic pain.Methods: Participants were 240 youth aged 10 to 18 years (Mage = 14.8, SD = 1.9) who completed the WPI and SS scale. Subsets of participants also completed additional measures of pain region, pain intensity, quality of life, pain interference, and physical function.Results: Increased features of centralized pain by age were seen for the WPI (r = 0.27, P < 0.01) and SS scale (r = 0.29, P < 0.01). Expected differences in sex were seen for the WPI (sex: t132 = −3.62, P < 0.01) but not the SS scale (sex: t223 = −1.73, P = 0.09). Reliability for the SS scale was adequate (α = 0.70). Construct validity was demonstrated through relationships between the WPI and pain regions (r = 0.57, P < 0.01) and between the SS scale and quality of life (r = −0.59, P < 0.01) and pain interference (r = 0.56, P < 0.01). Criterion validity was demonstrated by differences on the WPI between the surgery sample and the headache and chronic pain samples (F2,237 = 17.55, P < 0.001). Comprehension of the SS scale items was problematic for some youth.Conclusions: The WPI showed adequate psychometric properties in youth; however, the SS scale may need to be modified. Our findings support the need to develop psychometrically sound instruments for comprehensive assessment of pain in pediatric samples.

KW - chronic pain

KW - child

KW - centralised pain

KW - pain distribution

KW - pain location

KW - widespread pain

U2 - 10.1080/24740527.2019.1620097

DO - 10.1080/24740527.2019.1620097

M3 - Article

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JO - Canadian Journal of Pain

T2 - Canadian Journal of Pain

JF - Canadian Journal of Pain

SN - 2474-0527

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