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Development and validation of Arabic version of the pain catastrophizing scale

Article type: Published article


INTRODUCTION: The pain catastrophizing scale (PCS) is the most widely used tool to assess pain catastrophizing. The aim of this study was to translate, culturally adapt, and validate the PCS questionnaire in Arabic. METHODS: A systematic translation process was used to translate the original English PCS into Arabic. After the pilot study, we validated our version among patients with chronic pain at two tertiary care centers. We tested the reliability of our version using internal consistency and test-retest reliability. We examined the validity by assessing construct validity, concurrent validity (by investigating the associations with Brief Pain Inventory [BPI]), and face validity. RESULTS: A total of 113 subjects (50 men, 63 women) were included in the study. Cronbach's alpha was 0.94 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.92-0.96), and interclass correlation coefficients was 0.83 (95% CI: 0.77-0.89) for the total scale. There was no statistically significant difference in the total PCS scores between patients who reported experiencing current pain and those who did not. Among patients who reported having current pain, pain severity was weakly associated with the total PCS scores (r = 0.22, P = 0.03). PCS and its subscales were not statistically significantly associated with any of the BPI items. Nonetheless, patients who were diagnosed with neuropathic pain had statistically significantly higher scores on the total PCS, rumination, and helplessness subscales. Most patients found the PCS questions to be clear and easy to understand, and thought the questionnaire items covered all their problem areas regarding their pain catastrophizing. CONCLUSION: Our translated version of PCS is reliable and valid for use among Arabic-speaking patients.

Full citation

Terkawi AS, Sullivan M, Abolkhair A, Al-Zhahrani T, Terkawi RS, Alasfar EM, et al. Development and validation of Arabic version of the pain catastrophizing scale. Saudi journal of anaesthesia. 2017;11(Suppl 1):S63-s70.


Methods Condition Gender Age Country Setting Sample size
patients Both The average age was 52 (SD = 17) Saudi Arabia
Healthcare Facility 113

Number of items

13 items


Measure does not require training

Required time

Less than 5 min

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Articles last updated: December 2020