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Validation of the Brief Pain Self-Efficacy Questionnaire
David Ring; Jan Paul Briet; Arjan Bot; Michiel Hageman; Mariano Menendez; Chaitanya Mudgal
Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA

Objective: The Pain Self-Efficacy Questionnaire (PSEQ) is a validated tool to assess pain self-efficacy and strongly correlated with hand disability. Reducing the number of questions of the original PSEQ in order to screen for self-efficacy will result in more efficient screening in a hand surgery practice and less burden for the patient. The aim of this study was to prospectively validate the shortened version of the PSEQ.
Method: Two hundred and forty-nine new and follow-up patients visiting our outpatient hand surgery clinic were prospectively enrolled and asked to complete the PSEQ, QuickDASH and PHQ-2 questionnaires. The patients completed the questionnaires in the office and online two weeks after their visit. At the follow-up visit the PSEQ was substituted with the PSEQ-2. The factors associated with higher QuickDASH scores were investigated in a bivariate and multivariable analysis. Paired T-test was used to compare the mean of the short and long questionnaires at enrollment.
Results: There was a large correlation (r=0.90; p<0.001) between the original PSEQ and the PSEQ-2 at enrollment. The Crohnbach alphas were comparable for the PSEQ and the PSEQ-2 (α=0.95 compared to α=0.91). There was a small but statistically significant difference between the average scores of the PSEQ and PSEQ-2 (4.4 vs. 4.8 p<0.001). For the shortened PSEQ a smalleróbut still largeócorrelation was found with the QuickDASH (r=0.71 vs. r=0.61). Both PSEQ-2 and PSEQ were the most important predictor of the QuickDASH scores. A substantial test-retest reliability was found for the PSEQ-2 (0.66).
Conclusion: The PSEQ-2 can be used to quickly assess patients' pain self-efficacy. Patients with low self-efficacy can be offered evidence-based interventions known to decrease pain and disability.


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