The Concept of Pain Inventory for Adults (COPI-Adult): assessing knowledge and beliefs regarding pain science education

Joshua W. Pate, Laura E. Simons, Gillian Rush, Mark J. Hancock, Julia M. Hush, Arianne Verhagen, Verity Pacey

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    Objectives: Assessing knowledge and beliefs regarding pain science can identify gaps and misconceptions. The Concept of Pain Inventory (COPI) was recently developed in children with the intent to guide targeted pain science education. We utilized the original COPI item pool to (1) develop a tool to assess an adult's concept of pain in a cohort who had not received pain science education, (2) evaluate its psychometric properties, (3) examine distribution of scores in a cohort of adults who had received pain science education, and (4) examine associations between scores and clinical variables. Materials and Methods: A total cohort of 627 adults were recruited through social media for an online survey. Initial development was conducted on those who had not received prior pain science education (n=125), then the COPI-Adult tool was tested in those who had received prior pain science education (n=502). Results: The resulting unidimensional 13-item COPI-Adult had acceptable internal consistency (α=0.78) and good test-retest reliability at 1 week (Intraclass Correlation Coefficient3,1=0.84 (95% confidence interval: 0.71-0.91). Higher COPI-Adult scores reflect greater alignment with contemporary pain science. COPI-Adult scores were correlated with revised Neurophysiology of Pain Questionnaire (rNPQ) scores and inversely correlated with average and current pain intensity, and pain interference. Adults who reported having received pain science education had significantly higher mean COPI-Adult scores than those who had not, and this difference exceeded the smallest detectable change. Discussion: The COPI-Adult is a brief questionnaire with promising psychometric properties to identify conceptual gaps or misconceptions to inform individualized pain science education.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)32-40
    Number of pages9
    JournalClinical Journal of Pain
    Issue number1
    Early online date12 Oct 2021
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


    • Concept of pain
    • questionnaire
    • pain science education
    • scale development


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