The pain-related cognitive processes questionnaire: Development and validation

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Pain Medicine (United States), 2018, 19 (2), pp. 269 - 283
Issue Date:
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© 2017 American Academy of Pain Medicine. All rights reserved. Objective. Cognitive processes may be characterized as how individuals think, whereas cognitive content constitutes what individuals think. Both cognitive processes and cognitive content are theorized to play important roles in chronic pain adjustment, and treatments have been developed to target both. However, the evaluation of treatments that target cognitive processes is limited because extant measures do not satisfactorily separate cognitive process from cognitive content. The current study aimed to develop a self-report inventory of potentially adaptive and presumed maladaptive attentional processes that may occur when someone is experiencing pain. Methods. Scales were derived from a large item pool by successively applying confirmatory factor analysis to item data from two undergraduate samples (N 5 393 and 233). Results. Items, which were generated to avoid confounding of cognitive content with cognitive processes, represented nine constructs: Suppression, Distraction, Enhancement, Dissociation, Reappraisal, Absorption, Rumination, Nonjudgment, and Acceptance. The resulting nine scales formed the Pain-Related Cognitive Process Questionnaire (PCPQ), and scale correlations produced four conceptually distinct composite scales: Pain Diversion, Pain Distancing, Pain Focus, and Pain Openness. Internal consistency reliabilities of the nine scales were adequate (a 0.70) to good, and the four composite scales had a values of 0.79 or higher. Correlations with pain-related criterion variables were generally consistent with putative constructs. Conclusions. The developed PCPQ scales offer a comprehensive assessment of important cognitive processes specific to pain. Overall, the findings suggest that the PCPQ scales may prove useful for evaluating the role of pain-related cognitive processes in studies of chronic pain.
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