Skip To Main Content University of Washington Department of Rehabilitation Medicine
  Department of Rehabilitation Medicine 
  maximizing potential across the lifespan

Title:

The assessment of pain quality: an item response theory analysis

Author(s):

Waterman, C., Victor, T.W., Jensen, M.P., Gould, E.M., Gammaitoni, A.R., & Galer, B.S

Year:

2010

Publication Info:

Journal of Pain, 11:273-279

Abstract:

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.

Link to Article:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20211439

Featured Research Articles

Traumatic Brain Injury

View the latest research articles on Traumatic Brain Injury written by faculty from the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine.

Volunteer to Participate in our Research Studies

The Department of Rehabilitation Medicine is looking for volunteers to participate in research studies on Multiple Sclerosis & Pain Management, and Traumatic Brain Injury.

Level A conformance icon, 
          W3C-WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0
Copyright © 2000-2017 University of Washington