Pain Patient Profile: a scale to measure psychological distress

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1999 Oct;80(10):1300-2. doi: 10.1016/s0003-9993(99)90033-3.


Objective: To evaluate the construct validity of the Pain Patient Profile (P-3), a brief self-report instrument designed to measure anxiety, depression, and somatization in patients presenting with pain.

Design: Comparison of P-3 scores with previously established measures of depression, anxiety, and somatization, and comparison of P-3 scores of pain patients with those of patients with diabetes.

Settings: Hospital-based outpatient pain clinic, family practice clinic, diabetes education group.

Patients: Seventy pain patients and 40 patients with diabetes.

Results: High positive correlations (.69 to .90) were found between the P-3 scales of Depression, Anxiety, and Somatization and the corresponding measures of these constructs, and high intercorrelations were found among the three P-3 scales. Significant differences were found between pain patients and diabetes patients for the P-3 Depression and Somatization scale scores, but not for the P-3 Anxiety scale scores.

Conclusions: The P-3 is a useful instrument for initial screening of psychological distress in pain patients. Some patients may show elevations on more than one of the clinical scales, which either indicates that the P-3 does not distinguish well among these constructs or reflects the well-established comorbidity of these constructs.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / etiology
  • Depression / psychology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / psychology
  • Discriminant Analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / complications*
  • Pain / psychology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / standards*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Somatoform Disorders / diagnosis
  • Somatoform Disorders / etiology
  • Somatoform Disorders / psychology
  • Stress, Psychological / diagnosis*
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology