Factor structure, reliability, and validity of the Pain Catastrophizing Scale

J Behav Med. 1997 Dec;20(6):589-605. doi: 10.1023/a:1025570508954.


The Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS; Sullivan et al., Psychol. Assess. 7, 524-532, 1995) has recently been developed to assess three components of catastrophizing: rumination, magnification, and helplessness. We conducted three studies to evaluate the factor structure, reliability, and validity of the PCS. In Study I, we conducted principal-components analysis with oblique rotation to replicate the three factors of the PCS. Gender differences on the original PCS subscales were also analyzed. In Study II, we conducted confirmatory factor analyses to evaluate the adequacy of fit of four alternative models. We also evaluated evidence for concurrent and discriminant validity. In Study III, we evaluated the ability of the PCS and subscales to differentiate between the responses of clinic (students seeking treatment) and nonclinic undergraduate samples. Also, in the clinic sample, we evaluated evidence of concurrent and predictive validity for the PCS. The internal consistency reliability indices for the total PCS and subscales were examined in all three studies. Limitations and future directions are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pain / psychology*
  • Pain Measurement / methods*
  • Psychometrics / methods*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Reproducibility of Results