JOURNAL ARTICLE

The assessment of pain quality: an item response theory analysis

Clare Waterman, Timothy W Victor, Mark P Jensen, Errol M Gould, Arnold R Gammaitoni, Bradley S Galer
Journal of Pain 2010, 11 (3): 273-9
20211439

UNLABELLED: Item Response Theory (IRT) is being increasingly used to develop and evaluate outcome measures. However, many pain measures, including those that assess pain quality, have yet to be evaluated from the IRT perspective. The current study evaluated the scales of a commonly used measure of pain quality (the Pain Quality Assessment Scale, or PQAS) using IRT analyses in 3 samples of patients with chronic pain. The findings indicated variability in the precision of the scales, suggesting that all 3 of the PQAS scales are precise when pain is severe and that the Paroxysmal and Deep scales but not necessarily the Surface scale are precise when pain is of moderate or lower severity. In addition, 2 potential problems with the 11 (ie, 0 to 10) response levels used for the PQAS items were identified: (1) a high degree of overlap between adjacent response levels and (2) a lack of interval scaling. Research is needed to determine the extent to which these problems do, or do not, threaten the validity of the PQAS items and scales as outcome measures in pain clinical trials.

PERSPECTIVE: IRT analyses provide important information about the psychometric and practical qualities of pain measures that is not provided by standard (classical test theory) analyses. IRT analyses of the PQAS subscales indicate that some of the scales are more precise than others at different levels of pain severity and provide important directions for further research to better understand the PQAS. IRT analyses would probably similarly provide important information concerning the utility of other measures commonly used in pain research.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
20211439
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"