The Impact of Chronic Pain on Adolescents: A Review of Previously Used Measures

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To review the use of instruments to assess the impact of adolescent chronic pain, focussing on the development of instruments, the domains covered, psychometric properties, and published use with adolescent chronic pain patients.


Systematic literature searching recovered 706 articles, yielding 116 relevant articles, employing a total of 43 separate measurement instruments, which were subjected to content analysis.


Most instruments were in the psychological domain (n=22), with a self-report format (n=36). Thirty instruments were specifically developed for adolescent populations; only 12 instruments had psychometric evaluation with adolescent chronic pain patients. The median use of any one instrument in published studies was two. Clinically relevant psychometric data were missing for many instruments.


There is a diversity of instrumentation with some pockets of depth of use, but some domains of chronic pain experience with no routine assessment. Further development of the knowledge base of measurement of the impact of chronic adolescent pain is necessary.

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