COSMIN database

Classification and measurement of pain in the spinal cord-injured population

Sawatzky, B., Bishop, C. M., Miller, W. C., and Team, Scire Research
STUDY DESIGN: Comprehensive review and systematic analyses.

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this review was to summarize studies reporting on the psychometric properties of measures commonly utilized in spinal cord injury (SCI) pain research to better inform clinicians and researchers on the selection of appropriate pain-related instruments.

SETTING: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

METHODS: A detailed literature search was completed to extrapolate articles that described the psychometric properties of pain measures specifically used in SCI populations. Psychometric properties data of the identified measures such as reliability coefficients, type and magnitude of validity correlations, responsiveness as well as logistical factors (that is, interpretability, acceptability and feasibility) were extracted from manuscripts in accordance with similar projects designed to review outcome measures.

RESULTS: Five different pain classification schemas, six self-report measures of pain, and two measures of pain impact on functioning were selected based on our inclusion criteria. The majority of the studies identified in these areas reported inter- and intra-rater reliability information. Of the little validity data found for pain screening measures, it was difficult to compare due to the variability of the descriptors used. No data on sensitivity was identified.

CONCLUSION: We propose a call to SCI researchers to consistently apply psychometric analyses to SCI pain data measures. Greater rigor for assessing psychometric information in SCI pain studies will better inform the SCI research community of the applicability of generic measures to SCI pain investigations.
Spinal Cord
1362-4393 (Print)
Publication year:
Symptom status:
Physical state
Adults (18-65)
Children (0-18)
Seniors (65+)
Injury, poisoning and certain other consequences of external causes
PRO / non-PRO:
Patient Reported Outcome
Type of measurement instrument:
1 - Questionnaires
2 - Interviews
BPI - Brief Pain Inventory
BR-SCI-PT - Bryce-Ragnarsson Pain Taxonomies
Cardenas Pain Classification
Donovan Pain Classification Scheme
GCPS - Graded Chronic Pain Scale
MPI-SCI - Multidimensional Pain Inventory Spinal Cord Injury
MPQ - McGill Pain Questionnaire    
SF-36 - 36-item Short Form Health Survey [alias: RAND-36][alias: Medical Outcomes Study (MOS) SF-36]]    |  | also see:
Siddall classification
Tunks SCI Pain Classification
WUSPI - Wheelchair Users Pain Index