Assessing the affective component of chronic pain: Development of the pain discomfort scale

Mark P. Jensen, Paul Karoly, Pamela Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Scopus citations


Few methods exist to assess the affective or reactive dimension of chronic pain, and there are psychometric and practical limitations on the methods that do exist. The current paper reports on the development and validation of the Pain Discomfort Scale, a 10-item instrument designed to fill the need for a brief and psychometrically sound measure of pain affect. Preliminary evidence supports the reliability and validity of the measure. Its internal consistency and test-retest stability coefficients are high. In addition, the results of both correlational and factor analyses of the PDS with other measures support its distinctiveness (from measures of pain intensity) and construct validity (as indicated by its close association with other measures of pain affect). These results support the use of the PDS in situations where a measure of the affective response to chronic pain is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-154
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 1991


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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