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A review of general pain measurement tools and instruments for consideration of use in COPD clinical practice

Authors Johnson AM, Smith SMS

Received 16 August 2016

Accepted for publication 18 November 2016

Published 17 March 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 923—929

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S119889

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Lucy Goodman

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Alisha Maree Johnson,1 Sheree MS Smith1,2

1School of Nursing and Midwifery, Western Sydney University, Penrith, 2Respiratory, Sleep, and Environmental Health Research Academic Unit, Liverpool Hospital, Liverpool, NSW, Australia


Background: The experience of pain can have a significant impact on the everyday life of individuals including those with COPD. Recently, pain has emerged as an area in COPD research. When considering pain measurement in COPD studies, it is important to consider the validity, reliability, responsiveness and interpretability of instruments and tools. This review sought to assess these domains of general pain instruments and tools using the consensus-based standards for the selection of health measurement instruments (COSMIN).
Methods: Three separate analyses were used to assess general pain measurement tools and instruments. These comprise COSMIN’s, 1) methodological quality assessment with dichotomous responses, 2) the 4-point rating scale, and 3) overall quality criteria using an assessment scale for clinimetric properties by Terwee.
Results: Overall Pain Sensitivity Questionnaire (PSQ) was found to have the highest rating in all domains of validity, reliability, responsiveness and interpretability. In the first analysis, PSQ and Geriatric Pain Measure (GPM) scored highest in four of the six domains. In the second analysis, using the 4-point rating, the PSQ scored highest in three of four domains. In the third analysis, the GPM scored the highest in all four domains. Overall the PSQ, GPM and Defense and Veterans Pain Rating Scale scores were consistently high in the three separate analyses in this review.
Conclusion: This review found variability in the domains of validity, reliability, responsiveness and interpretability in general pain tools and instruments. The PSQ was found to be the most valid and reliable general pain measurement instrument for adult populations.

Keywords: pain, measurement, validity, reliability, responsiveness, interpretability, COPD

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