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      Children’s and adolescents’ relationship to pain during cancer treatment: a preliminary validation of the Pain Flexibility Scale for Children

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          Children with cancer often suffer from pain. Pain is associated with psychological distress, which may amplify the pain experience. In chronic pain, it has been shown that psychological acceptance is helpful for both adults and children. For experimentally induced pain, interventions fostering psychological acceptance have been shown to predict increases in pain tolerance and reductions in pain intensity and discomfort of pain. A single subject study aiming to nurture psychological acceptance for children with cancer experiencing pain has shown promising results. No instruments measuring psychological acceptance in acute pain are yet available. The aim of the current study was to develop and preliminarily evaluate an instrument to measure psychological acceptance in children experiencing pain during cancer treatment.


          A test version of the Pain Flexibility Scale for Children was sent to all children aged 7–18 years undergoing cancer treatment in Sweden at the time of the study. Exploratory factor analysis was used. Internal consistency, test–retest reliability, and convergent validity were examined.


          Sixty-one children participated in the study. A two-factor solution with Promax rotation was found to best represent the data. Internal consistency was good to excellent ( a =0.87–0.91). The total scale and the subscales demonstrated temporal stability (Intraclass correlation coefficient =0.56–0.61) and satisfactory convergent validity ( r=−0.27 to −0.68).


          The Pain Flexibility Scale for Children measuring psychological acceptance in children with cancer experiencing pain is now available for use. This enables the evaluation of acceptance as a mediator for treatment change in the context of acute pain in children with cancer, which in turn is a step forward in the development of psychological treatments to help children cope with the pain during these difficult circumstances. The scale shows good psychometric properties but needs further validation, particularly considering the small sample size.

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          Most cited references 31

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          Quantifying test-retest reliability using the intraclass correlation coefficient and the SEM.

          Reliability, the consistency of a test or measurement, is frequently quantified in the movement sciences literature. A common metric is the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). In addition, the SEM, which can be calculated from the ICC, is also frequently reported in reliability studies. However, there are several versions of the ICC, and confusion exists in the movement sciences regarding which ICC to use. Further, the utility of the SEM is not fully appreciated. In this review, the basics of classic reliability theory are addressed in the context of choosing and interpreting an ICC. The primary distinction between ICC equations is argued to be one concerning the inclusion (equations 2,1 and 2,k) or exclusion (equations 3,1 and 3,k) of systematic error in the denominator of the ICC equation. Inferential tests of mean differences, which are performed in the process of deriving the necessary variance components for the calculation of ICC values, are useful to determine if systematic error is present. If so, the measurement schedule should be modified (removing trials where learning and/or fatigue effects are present) to remove systematic error, and ICC equations that only consider random error may be safely used. The use of ICC values is discussed in the context of estimating the effects of measurement error on sample size, statistical power, and correlation attenuation. Finally, calculation and application of the SEM are discussed. It is shown how the SEM and its variants can be used to construct confidence intervals for individual scores and to determine the minimal difference needed to be exhibited for one to be confident that a true change in performance of an individual has occurred.
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            Statistical Power Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences

             Jacob Cohen (2013)
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              Impact of psychological factors in the experience of pain.

              This article reviews the role of psychological factors in the development of persistent pain and disability, with a focus on how basic psychological processes have been incorporated into theoretical models that have implications for physical therapy. To this end, the key psychological factors associated with the experience of pain are summarized, and an overview of how they have been integrated into the major models of pain and disability in the scientific literature is presented. Pain has clear emotional and behavioral consequences that influence the development of persistent problems and the outcome of treatment. Yet, these psychological factors are not routinely assessed in physical therapy clinics, nor are they sufficiently utilized to enhance treatment. Based on a review of the scientific evidence, a set of 10 principles that have likely implications for clinical practice is offered. Because psychological processes have an influence on both the experience of pain and the treatment outcome, the integration of psychological principles into physical therapy treatment would seem to have potential to enhance outcomes.

                Author and article information

                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove Medical Press
                16 May 2017
                : 10
                : 1171-1178
                [1 ]Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Pediatric Oncology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
                [2 ]Närhälsan, Research and Development Center, Primary Health Care, Södra Älvsborg, Borås, Sweden
                [3 ]Department of Psychology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Jenny Thorsell Cederberg, Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Uppsala University, Uppsala University Hospital, SE-751 85 Uppsala, Sweden, Tel +46 18 611 0197, Fax +46 18 508 680, Email jenny.thorsell.cederberg@ 123456kbh.uu.se
                © 2017 Thorsell Cederberg et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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