Objective: The current study investigated the construct validity of a multidimensional pain diary for youth with juvenile idiopathic arthritis and also compared participants’ responses on electronic and retrospective diary measures. The purpose of the latter part of this study was to compare absolute agreement, between-person and within-person consistency and judged change in weekly pain between these 2 methods of assessing pain.
Methods: A total of 70 adolescents with juvenile idiopathic arthritis completed both weekly recalled and momentary reports of pain over a 2-week period and assessed their change in pain over the 2-week period using a 5-point global change in pain scale. The Pearson correlations and intraclass correlation coefficients were computed to demonstrate 3 different ways of comparing the measures on both between-person and within-person basis.
Results: Momentary ratings of pain episodes were consistently greater than weekly ratings of recalled pain. Moderate to strong consistency and agreement correlations were computed for between-person momentary and recalled pain intensity. However, these correlations were much weaker when the within-person data were analyzed. The judged change in pain across weeks was significantly associated with computed change in both average momentary and recalled pain.
Discussion: This is one of the few studies to explore the relationship between the measurement methods of pain recall and momentary assessment in adolescents. The poor within-person correlations observed have important implications for research design and practice in pediatric pain.