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Eur J Pain. 2015 Oct;19(9):1342-9. doi: 10.1002/ejp.665. Epub 2015 Mar 11.

Development and evaluation of short forms of the Pain Catastrophizing Scale and the Pain Self-efficacy Questionnaire.

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Department of Psychology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada.
Department of Psychology, The Ottawa Hospital Rehabilitation Centre, ON, Canada.



To facilitate efficient screening and reduce the length of comprehensive self-report batteries, a four-item short form of the Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS) and a two-item short form of the Pain Self-Efficacy Questionnaire (PSEQ) have been developed and evaluated in samples of patients with arm and upper extremity pain.


The first aim of this study was to evaluate these short forms in a heterogeneous sample of patients seeking treatment for chronic musculoskeletal pain, using a priori criteria for determining adequate internal consistency, construct validity and sensitivity to change. In addition, the findings of past studies were used to identify items suitable for new and potentially stronger short forms of these measures.


Data were provided by 280 patients who completed the original PCS and PSEQ as part of an interdisciplinary rehabilitation programme.


The previously developed four-item PCS and the newly developed six-item short form of the PCS both met the internal consistency and construct validity criteria. They did not meet the criterion regarding sensitivity to change. However, similar to what was obtained using the original PCS, large effect sizes were found when using these short forms to examine pre-treatment to post-treatment changes in catastrophizing. For the PSEQ, the new four-item short form was clearly superior to the other alternatives and met all three criteria.


The strongest short forms of the PCS and PSEQ could facilitate the assessment of pain catastrophizing and self-efficacy in situations in which the use of the longer original measures is not feasible.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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