The Pain Anxiety Symptoms Scale: development and validation of a scale to measure fear of pain

Pain. 1992 Jul;50(1):67-73. doi: 10.1016/0304-3959(92)90113-p.


Fear of pain has been implicated in the development and maintenance of chronic pain behavior. Consistent with conceptualizations of anxiety as occurring within three response modes, this paper introduces an instrument to measure fear of pain across cognitive, overt behavioral, and physiological domains. The Pain Anxiety Symptoms Scale (PASS) was administered to 104 consecutive referrals to a multidisciplinary pain clinic. The alpha coefficients were 0.94 for the total scale and ranged from 0.81 to 0.89 for the subscales. Validity was supported by significant correlations with measures of anxiety and disability. Regression analyses controlling for measures of emotional distress and pain showed that the PASS made a significant and unique contribution to the prediction of disability and interference due to pain. Evidence presented here supports the potential utility of the PASS in the continued study of fear of pain and its contribution to the development and maintenance of pain behaviors. Factor analysis and behavioral validation studies are in progress.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / psychology*
  • Phobic Disorders / psychology
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales*
  • Psychometrics / methods
  • Regression Analysis