Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a perplexing neurological condition, and persons with CRPS experience substantial loss of daily roles and activities. A condition-specific measure is being developed to evaluate CRPS.
We describe the use of cognitive interviews to examine content validity of this patient-reported outcome measure for CRPS.
Interviews with 44 persons with CRPS were analyzed to identify problems with wording and support content validation. Item-total correlations were calculated for proposed subscales, and scores were plotted to consider floor/ceiling effects.
Interviews identified questions where respondents considered factors unrelated to the construct of interest or were underaddressed by the questionnaire, including depression and skin temperature. The symptoms, daily function, and coping/social impact scales demonstrated satisfactory correlations (Cronbach’s alpha 0.76–0.86). Despite a sampling bias of severity, no frank floor/ceiling effects were noted.
This study builds a foundation for continuing development and evaluation of the measurement properties of the Patient-Reported Hamilton Inventory for CRPS. It makes explicit the iterative decisions involved in rigorous instrument development.