Development and validation of a short-form Pain Medication Attitudes Questionnaire (PMAQ-14)

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Attitudes to pain medication are important aspects of adjustment to chronic pain. They are measured by the 47-item Pain Medication Attitudes Questionnaire (PMAQ). To measure those attitudes more quickly and easily, we developed and evaluated a 14-item PMAQ using data from 3 separate surveys of people with pain in the general population. In survey 1, participants (n = 295) completed the 47-item PMAQ and measures of pain, analgesic use, analgesic dependence, and attitudes to self-medication. For each of the 7 PMAQ scales, the 2 items that best preserved the content of the full parent scales were identified using correlation and regression. The 2-item and full parent scales had very similar relationships with other measures, indicating that validity had been maintained. The resulting 14-item PMAQ was then completed by participants in survey 2 (n = 241) and survey 3 (n = 147), along with the same other measures as in survey 1. Confirmatory factor analysis showed that the 14-item PMAQ retained the 7-factor structure of the 47-item version, and correlations with other measures showed that it retained the validity of the 47-item version. The PMAQ scale Need was the most significant independent predictor of analgesic dependence in each of 4 separate multiple regression analyses. This short form of the PMAQ allows attitudes to pain medications to be measured in a valid and more efficient way.

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