Shortening the Screener and Opioid Assessment for Patients with Pain-Revised (SOAPP-R): A Proof-of-Principle Study for Customized Computer-Based Testing

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The Screener and Opioid Assessment for Patients with Pain-Revised (SOAPP-R) is a 24-item self-report instrument that was developed to aid providers in predicting aberrant medication-related behaviors among chronic pain patients. Although the SOAPP-R has garnered widespread use, certain patients may be dissuaded from taking it because of its length. Administrative barriers associated with lengthy questionnaires further limit its utility.


To investigate the extent to which two techniques for computer-based administration (curtailment and stochastic curtailment) reduce the average test length of the SOAPP-R without unduly affecting sensitivity and specificity.


Retrospective study.


Pain management centers.


Four hundred and twenty-eight chronic non-cancer pain patients.


Subjects had taken the full-length SOAPP-R and been classified by the Aberrant Drug Behavior Index (ADBI) as having engaged or not engaged in aberrant medication-related behavior. Curtailment and stochastic curtailment were applied to the data in post-hoc simulation. Sensitivity and specificity with respect to the ADBI, as well as average test length, were computed for the full-length test, curtailment, and stochastic curtailment.


The full-length SOAPP-R exhibited a sensitivity of 0.745 and a specificity of 0.671 for predicting the ADBI. Curtailment reduced the average test length by 26% while exhibiting the same sensitivity and specificity as the full-length test. Stochastic curtailment reduced the average test length by as much as 65% while always exhibiting sensitivity and specificity for the ADBI within 0.035 of those of the full-length test.


Curtailment and stochastic curtailment have potential to improve the SOAPP-R's efficiency in computer-based administrations.

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