Pediatric Pain Beliefs Questionnaire: Psychometric Properties of the Short Form

J Pain. 2016 Sep;17(9):1036-44. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2016.06.006. Epub 2016 Jun 27.


Cognitive appraisals inform and shape individuals' pain experiences. As researchers examine mechanisms of cognitive-behavioral interventions for chronic pain, psychometrically sound measures based in cognitive theory are needed to directly assess pain beliefs. The Pain Beliefs Questionnaire (PBQ), a 32-item self-report measure informed by coping and appraisal theory, was designed to assess children's pain threat appraisals, problem-focused pain coping efficacy, and emotion-focused pain coping efficacy. The present study aimed to: 1) create a short form of the PBQ, and 2) evaluate the psychometric properties of the reduced measure in a large database of pediatric patients with functional abdominal pain (n = 871). Item reduction analyses identified an 18-item short form of the PBQ (PBQ-SF) that exhibited psychometric properties similar to the original measure. All 3 subscales of the PBQ-SF exhibited strong internal consistency (α levels ranged from .79 to .80) and adequate test-retest reliability at 2 weeks. Evidence for construct validity was provided by examining patterns of partial correlations for each subscale. The PBQ-SF represents a valid and reliable measure for evaluating children's pain beliefs. Future studies should investigate the treatment sensitivity of the PBQ-SF to evaluate its appropriateness for use in clinical trials.

Perspective: This article presents the psychometric properties of a reduced 18-item version of a measure used to assess children's pain beliefs in a large sample of children with functional abdominal pain. This measure could help identify processes and individual differences underlying children's responses to psychological treatments for chronic pain.

Keywords: Chronic pain; cognitive appraisal; functional abdominal pain; measure development; pain coping.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Chronic Pain / physiopathology
  • Chronic Pain / psychology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Culture*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pain Measurement
  • Psychometrics*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self Efficacy*
  • Social Class
  • Surveys and Questionnaires