Measurement Characteristics and Clinical Utility of the West Haven-Yale Multidimensional Pain Inventory in a Chronic Pain Population

Published:October 27, 2017DOI:
      Chronic pain is defined as “pain that is not fleeting or minor and lasting at least 6 months.”1(p.1234) Chronic pain affects approximately one third of the U.S. adult population and is associated with poorer socioeconomic indicators (eg, unemployment, lowest household income).1 The West Haven-Yale Multidimensional Pain Inventory (WHYMPI) was developed using a sample of patients with chronic pain, emphasizing the role of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral factors in the experience of pain and related disability.2 This self-report measure consists of 52 items across 12 subscales and 3 overall domains: pain experience, responses of others to the patient's communicated pain, and performance of daily living activities. Each item is rated from 0 to 6. Subscale scores are calculated by taking the mean score of all items within the subscale. Higher subscale scores for pain interference and severity indicate greater levels of pain and interference in life, whereas higher subscale scores for activity indicate greater ability in daily activities. The WHYMPI demonstrates adequate to excellent test-retest reliability in Swedish, Swiss, and Dutch chronic pain samples,3. 4. 5. and adequate to excellent internal consistency.2. 3. Confirmatory factor analysis supports a 4-factor solution, accounting for 67% to 94% of the variance.2. 6. Convergent validity is supported by adequate to excellent correlations between various commonly used scales and at least one factor of the WHYMPI.2 The WHYMPI can be administered in 15 to 30 minutes and does not require training or additional equipment. The measure and additional resources can be found on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website.7
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