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J Sex Med. 2017 Dec;14(12):1585-1596. doi: 10.1016/j.jsxm.2017.10.072.

The Vulvar Pain Assessment Questionnaire: Factor Structure, Preliminary Norms, Internal Consistency, and Test-Retest Reliability.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada.
2
Department of Psychology, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada. Electronic address: caroline.pukall@queensu.ca.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The Vulvar Pain Assessment Questionnaire (VPAQ) was developed to assist in the assessment and diagnosis of chronic vulvar pain (vulvodynia).

AIM:

To further establish the psychometric properties of the VPAQ by examining factor structure, test-retest reliability, internal consistency, and scale normative data, and to gather feedback from those with vulvar pain about the usefulness and accessibility of the questionnaire.

METHODS:

182 participants completed a confidential online study and 70 participated again at time 2 (4 weeks later).

OUTCOMES:

Participants were asked to complete the full VPAQ, which assesses pain characteristics, effects on various parts of their lives, coping strategies used, and romantic partner factors. Additional questions captured sociodemographics and feedback about the instrument.

RESULTS:

Exploratory structural equation modeling indicated that the previously established subscales, except the coping scale, had adequate model fit, and all items loaded significantly onto relevant factors. Pearson product moment correlations (r = 0.57-0.96) established strong 4-week test-retest reliability for most subscale scores, and Cronbach α indicated overall acceptable to high internal consistency (α = 0.56-0.95). Preliminary norms for the scales are supplied. Approximately half the participants reported an increase in their comfort level in discussing a range of topics after completing the VPAQ. Most participants reported that the length, readability, and range of VPAQ questions were "good" or "excellent."

CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS:

The results of this study provide further justification for using the VPAQ scales in clinical and research settings, preliminary norms for a vulvar pain population, and suggestions for interpretation.

STRENGTHS AND LIMITATIONS:

This study established the psychometric properties of the VPAQ scales using multiple methods at 2 time points and gathered feedback from participants. However, data were collected online so diagnoses could not be confirmed and more than half the initial sample did not complete the survey at time 2.

CONCLUSION:

The results of this study suggest that most VPAQ subscales (except the coping subscale) have moderate to strong psychometric properties and that the VPAQ is user friendly. Dargie E, Holden RR, Pukall CF. The Vulvar Pain Assessment Questionnaire: Factor Structure, Preliminary Norms, Internal Consistency, and Test-Retest Reliability. J Sex Med 2017;14:1585-1596.

KEYWORDS:

Dyspareunia; Factor Analysis; Pain Assessment; Reliability; Vulvodynia

PMID:
29198513
DOI:
10.1016/j.jsxm.2017.10.072
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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