Assessment of Central Sensitization in Breast Cancer Survivors: Convergent Validity and Use of the Central Sensitization Inventory (CSI) and Its Short-Form as a Clustering Tool

Clin Pract. 2021 Sep 7;11(3):607-618. doi: 10.3390/clinpract11030076.


The Central Sensitization Inventory (CSI) measurement properties in patients having nonspecific, noncancer pain are well-established. However, studies examining the reliability and validity of either the CSI or the Central Sensitization Inventory short-form version (CSI-9) in breast cancer survivors (BCS) are scarce. The purpose was to evaluate convergent validity and internal consistency of the CSI and CSI-9. Additionally, the relevance of a new cluster calculator using the CSI was explored. The cross-sectional multi-center study included 65 BCS and 37 healthy volunteers. Patients filled out multiple questionnaires assessing pain, number of painful areas, anxiety, depression and quality of life. The relevance of a cluster calculator was explored by known-group comparisons and boxplot description. All hypotheses were formulated before data analysis. The majority of hypotheses on the correlations between the CSI or CSI-9 and other health outcomes were confirmed (22 out of 27). The CSI and CSI-9 have excellent (α = 0.92) and good (α = 0.86) internal consistency, respectively. The CSI cluster calculator might be an interesting tool to use to have a patient's overall condition snapshot. Generally, the study findings support the construct validity and internal consistency of the CSI, which underline the use of this self-reported instrument in BCS. The CSI-9 shows promising results, but should be further evaluated.

Keywords: breast cancer; cancer survivors; central sensitivity syndrome; central sensitization; central sensitization inventory; chronic pain.