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Development and preliminary psychometric testing of a new OA pain measure – an OARSI/OMERACT initiative

Hawker GA, Davis AM, French MR, Cibere J, Jordan JM, March L, Suarez-Almazor M, Katz JN, Dieppe P. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2008; 16(4):409-14.

Objective — To evaluate the measurement properties of a new osteoarthritis (OA) pain measure.

Methods — The new tool, comprised of 12 questions on constant vs intermittent pain was administered by phone to 100 subjects aged 40+ years with hip or knee OA, followed by three global hip/knee questions, the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities (WOMAC) pain subscale, the symptom subscales of the Hip Disability and OA Outcome Score (HOOS) or Knee Injury and OA Outcome Score (KOOS), and the limitation dimension of the Late Life Function and Disability Instrument (LLFDI). Test–retest reliability was assessed by re-administration after 48–96 h. Item response distributions, inter-item correlations, item-total correlations and Cronbach's alpha were assessed. Principle component analysis was performed and test–retest reliability was assessed by intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC).

Results — There was good distribution of response options across all items. The mean intensity was higher for intermittent vs constant pain, indicating subjects could distinguish the two concepts. Inter-item correlations ranged from 0.37 to 0.76 indicating no item redundancy. One item, predictability of pain, was removed from subsequent analyses as correlations with other items and item-total correlations were low. The 11-item scale had a corrected inter-item correlation range of 0.54–0.81 with Cronbach's alpha of 0.93 for the combined sample. Principle components analysis demonstrated factorial complexity. As such, scoring was based on the summing of individual items. Test–retest reliability was excellent (ICC 0.85). The measure was significantly correlated with each of the other measures [Spearman correlations −0.60 (KOOS symptoms) to 0.81 (WOMAC pain scale)], except the LLFDI, where correlations were low.

Conclusions — Preliminary psychometric testing suggests this OA pain measure is reliable and valid.

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Keywords: Osteoarthritis Data validation