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Pain. 2010 Dec;151(3):834-42. doi: 10.1016/j.pain.2010.09.025. Epub 2010 Oct 18.

Parent perceptions of adolescent pain expression: the adolescent pain behavior questionnaire.

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  • 1Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA.


Pain behaviors provide meaningful information about adolescents in chronic pain, enhancing their verbal report of pain intensity with information about the global pain experience. Caregivers likely consider these expressions when making judgments about their adolescents' medical or emotional needs. Current validated measures of pain behavior target acute or procedural pain and young or non-verbal children, while observation systems may be too cumbersome for clinical practice. The objective of this research was to design and evaluate the Adolescent Pain Behavior Questionnaire (APBQ), a parent-report measure of adolescent (11-19 years) pain expressions. This paper provides preliminary results on reliability and validity of the APBQ. Parent-adolescent dyads (N=138) seen in a multidisciplinary pain management clinic completed the APBQ and questionnaires assessing pain characteristics, quality of life, functional disability, depressive symptoms, and pain catastrophizing. Principal components analysis of the APBQ supported a single component structure. The final APBQ scale contained 23 items with high internal consistency (α=0.93). No relationship was found between parent-reported pain behaviors and adolescent-reported pain intensity. However, significant correlations were found between parent-reported pain behaviors and parent- and adolescent-reported functional disability, pain catastrophizing, depressive symptoms, and poorer quality of life. The assessment of pain behaviors provides qualitatively different information than solely recording pain intensity and disability. It has clinical utility for use in behavioral treatments seeking to reduce disability, poor coping, and distress.

Copyright © 2010 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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