Validation of the Non-communicating Children's Pain Checklist–Postoperative Version

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Abstract

Background

This study evaluated the psychometric properties of the Non-communicating Children's Pain Checklist–Postoperative Version (NCCPC-PV) when used with children with severe intellectual disabilities.

Methods

The caregivers of 24 children with severe intellectual disabilities (aged 3–19 yr) took part. Each child was observed by one of their caregivers and one of the researchers for 10 min before and after surgery. They independently completed the NCCPC-PV and made a visual analog scale rating of the child's pain intensity for those times. A nurse also completed a visual analog scale for the same observations.

Results

The NCCPC-PV was internally reliable (Cronbach α = 0.91) and showed good interrater reliability. A repeated-measures analysis of variance indicated NCCPC-PV total and subscale scores were significantly higher after surgery and did not differ by observer. Postoperative NCCPC-PV scores correlated with visual analog scale ratings provided by caregivers and researchers, but not with those of nurses. A score of 11 on the NCCPC-PV, by caregivers, provided 0.88 sensitivity and 0.81 specificity for classifying children with moderate to severe pain.

Conclusions

The NCCPC-PV displayed good psychometric properties when used for the postoperative pain of children with severe intellectual disabilities and has the potential to be useful in a clinical setting. The results suggest familiarity with an individual child with intellectual disabilities is not necessary for pain assessment.

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