Validation of the English version of the UNESP-Botucatu multidimensional composite pain scale for assessing postoperative pain in cats

Juliana T Brondani, Khursheed R Mama, Stelio P L Luna, Bonnie D Wright, Sirirat Niyom, Jennifer Ambrosio, Pamela R Vogel, Carlos R Padovani
BMC Veterinary Research 2013, 9: 143

BACKGROUND: A scale validated in one language is not automatically valid in another language or culture. The purpose of this study was to validate the English version of the UNESP-Botucatu multidimensional composite pain scale (MCPS) to assess postoperative pain in cats. The English version was developed using translation, back-translation, and review by individuals with expertise in feline pain management. In sequence, validity and reliability tests were performed.

RESULTS: Of the three domains identified by factor analysis, the internal consistency was excellent for 'pain expression' and 'psychomotor change' (0.86 and 0.87) but not for 'physiological variables' (0.28). Relevant changes in pain scores at clinically distinct time points (e.g., post-surgery, post-analgesic therapy), confirmed the construct validity and responsiveness (Wilcoxon test, p < 0.001). Favorable correlation with the IVAS scores (p < 0.001) and moderate to very good agreement between blinded observers and 'gold standard' evaluations, supported criterion validity. The cut-off point for rescue analgesia was > 7 (range 0-30 points) with 96.5% sensitivity and 99.5% specificity.

CONCLUSIONS: The English version of the UNESP-Botucatu-MCPS is a valid, reliable and responsive instrument for assessing acute pain in cats undergoing ovariohysterectomy, when used by anesthesiologists or anesthesia technicians. The cut-off point for rescue analgesia provides an additional tool for guiding analgesic therapy.

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