Construct validity of the parents' postoperative pain measure

G Allen Finley, Christine T Chambers, Patrick J McGrath, Trudi M Walsh
Clinical Journal of Pain 2003, 19 (5): 329-34

OBJECTIVES: Pain assessment can be a challenging task for parents, who increasingly provide the care for their children after surgery. This research provides evidence of the construct validity of the Parents' Postoperative Pain Measure (PPPM), a 15-item behavioral scale.

METHODS: Study 1 examined the ability of scores on the PPPM to discriminate between pain and anxiety in a sample of 75 children (30 girls) between the ages of 7 and 12 years undergoing day surgery. Study 2 examined the sensitivity of scores on the PPPM to analgesic intervention among a sample of 28 children (7 girls) between the ages of 7 and 12 years undergoing day surgery.

RESULTS: In Study 1, scores on the PPPM closely followed the pattern of children's self-reported pain intensity and not state-related anxiety. Results from Study 2 showed that scores on the PPPM, like children's self-reported pain intensity ratings, were sensitive to analgesic intervention.

DISCUSSION: The results of these studies provide further support for the construct validity of the PPPM and confirm that the measure is a valid pain assessment tool for use by parents at home following children's surgeries.

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