Translation, Cross-Cultural Adaptation, and Validation of the Pain Sensitivity Questionnaire in Dutch Healthy Volunteers

Regina L M Van Boekel, Hans Timmerman, Ewald M Bronkhorst, Ruth Ruscheweyh, Kris C P Vissers, Monique A H Steegers

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An increased sensitivity to painful stimuli has been proposed to be related to the development of chronic pain. Therefore, assessment of individual pain sensitivity is useful in clinical practice. However, experimental pain testing may be uncomfortable for patients and requires specific equipment. The Pain Sensitivity Questionnaire (PSQ) has been developed to facilitate assessment of pain sensitivity. In this study, we aimed to translate and cross-culturally adapt the PSQ from its published German and English versions into the Dutch language and to assess validity of the PSQ in healthy volunteers. After translation and cross-cultural adaptation of the PSQ following international guidelines, we validated the PSQ in 394 healthy volunteers by comparing the PSQ-values with two different experimental pain tests: electrical pain tolerance (EPT) and pressure pain threshold (PPT). In addition, ratings of pain intensity during these tests were obtained on the numerical rating scale (NRS, 0-10). We found that the reliability of the PSQ based on internal consistency was good (Cronbach's alpha 0.90). PSQ-scores, adjusted for age and sex, were statistically significant and weakly inversely correlated to EPT (PSQ-moderate: rho = -0.24, p=0.007; PSQ-total: rho = -0.22, p=0.016). No statistically significant correlation between PSQ-scores and PPT was found. Concerning the pain scores, PSQ-scores were weakly to moderately correlated to EPT-NRS (PSQ-minor: rho = 0.21, p=0.021; PSQ-moderate: rho = 0.22, p=0.016; PSQ-total: rho = 0.23, p=0.009) as well as PPT-NRS (PSQ-minor: rho = 0.32, p < 0.001; PSQ-moderate: rho = 0.36, p < 0.001; PSQ-total: rho = 0.37, p < 0.001). Therefore, we concluded that the Dutch version of the PSQ is culturally appropriate for assessing self-reported pain sensitivity in healthy volunteers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1050935
JournalPain Research & Management
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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