The quality of life of people in chronic pain: Developing a pain and discomfort module for use with the WHOQOL

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • Authors:
  • V. L. Mason
  • S. M. Skevington
  • M. Osborn


This article reports the development of a pain and discomfort module (PDM) designed to assess the full impact of quality of life (QoL) relating to chronic pain, which could be used with the generic World Health Organisation Quality of Life Assessment (WHOQOL). First, cognitive interviewing was completed with nine participants with chronic pain, for 108 items representing 10 pain-specific facets of QoL. Sixty-eight QoL items and 16 importance questions on pain were relevant, comprehensive, comprehensible and acceptable to users, and were confirmed to assess their purported concepts. Secondly, these items were pilot tested using a cross-sectional survey of 216 people with chronic pain, to investigate the preliminary psychometric properties of the PDM, and reduce its items statistically. All new facets were important to those with chronic pain. Sixteen items within four facets of pain relief, anger and frustration, vulnerability/fear/worry, and uncertainty were retained, and demonstrated acceptable to good internal consistency reliability ( = 0.77-0.85). The PDM is a self-administered, multidimensional subjective assessment of pain-related QoL, with potential to evaluate pain-relieving interventions, identify sufferer's needs, and for survey use.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-154
Number of pages19
JournalPsychology and Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008