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Abstract: The pain vigilance and awareness questionnaire (PVAQ): further psychometric evaluation in fibromyalgia and other chronic pain syndromes

Pain 2003 Feb;101(3):299-306

Roelofs J, Peters ML, McCracken L, Vlaeyen JW.

Department of Medical, Clinical and Experimental Psychology, Maastricht University, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD, Maastricht, The Netherlands

In chronic pain patients, preoccupation with or attention to pain is associated with pain-related fear and perceived pain severity. The current study investigated psychometric properties of the pain vigilance and awareness questionnaire (PVAQ). An exploratory factor analysis on Dutch fibromyalgia patients indicated that a two-factor solution was most suitable. The first factor could be referred to as attention to pain and the second factor was interpreted as attention to changes in pain.

A confirmatory factor analysis, testing three different factor structures in two independent samples (Dutch fibromyalgia patients and American pain patients with various diagnoses) showed that the goodness-of-fit indicators for all models were satisfactory. The existence of the previously reported intrusion subscale of the PVAQ as a unique construct within the PVAQ was discussed. This subscale should be further extended by non-reverse-keyed items. With regard to the convergent validity, the PVAQ was highly correlated with related constructs such as the pain catastrophizing scale (PCS), pain anxiety symptoms scale (PASS), and Tampa scale of kinesiophobia (TSK).

The attention to pain subscale was significantly stronger associated with these pain-related measures than the attention to changes in pain subscale, indicating that attention to changes in pain is a distinctive construct. The uniqueness of the attention to changes in pain subscale was also supported by an exploratory factor analysis on all items of the PVAQ, PCS, PASS, and TSK which showed that all items from that scale loaded on one separate factor. Overall, the PVAQ showed good internal consistency. Implications for future research and treatment interventions are discussed.

PMID: 12583873 [PubMed – in process]