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
      This abbreviated summary provides a review of the psychometric properties of the WHYMPI in people with chronic pain. A full review of the WHYMPI and reviews of nearly 377 other instruments for patients with various health conditions can be found at:
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        U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. West Haven-Yale Multidimensional Pain Inventory (WHYMPI/MPI). 2015. Available at: Accessed August 29, 2017.
      This instrument summary is designed to facilitate the selection of outcome measures by clinicians. The information contained in this summary represents a sample of the peer-reviewed research available at the time of this summary's publication. The information contained in this summary does not constitute an endorsement of this instrument for clinical practice. The views expressed are those of the summary authors and do not represent those of the authors' employers, the instrument owner(s), the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the Rehabilitation Measures Database, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The information contained in this summary has not been reviewed externally.
      The Rehabilitation Measures Database and Instrument Summary Tear-sheets were initially funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Improving Measurement of Medical Rehabilitation Outcomes (grant no. H133B090024).