Development and Psychometric Evaluation of a New Measure of Pain-Related Support Preferences: The Pain Response Preference Questionnaire
BACKGROUND: Behavioural conceptualizations of chronic pain posit that solicitous responses to pain behaviours are positively reinforcing and play a role in the development of chronic pain and disability. Recent research suggests that studies investigating this model were likely limited by the use of only a few narrowly defined categories of responses to pain behaviour. A measure of preferences regarding pain-related social support has the potential to improve behavioural models of chronic pain by identifying other potentially reinforcing responses to pain behaviour.OBJECTIVE: The Pain Response Preference Questionnaire (PRPQ) was created to assess preferences regarding pain-related social support. The purpose of the present study was to empirically develop PRPQ scales and examine their psychometric properties.METHODS: A large university student sample (n=487) free of chronic pain completed the 39-item PRPQ. Factor analysis was applied to the data from the present sample to empirically develop PRPQ scales. Using a second student sample (n=87), relationships between the PRPQ scales and theoretically related measures were examined to evaluate the construct validity of the scales. Factor analysis supported four factors that reflected preferences for emotional and instrumental support, assistance in managing pain and emotions, having one’s pain ignored, and being encouraged to persist with one’s activities. Based on this analysis, scales labelled solicitude, management, suppression and encouragement were created. Correlation analyses supported the construct validity of these scales.CONCLUSIONS: The PRPQ is a psychometrically sound measure of preferences of pain-related social support. Research with clinical samples is needed to further evaluate its psychometric properties and clinical utility.