Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the ability of the central sensitization inventory (CSI), a new screening instrument, to assist clinicians in identifying patients with central sensitivity syndromes (CSSs).
Methods: Patients from a psychiatric medical practice (N=161), which specialized in the assessment and treatment of complex pain and psychophysiological disorders, were assessed for the presence of a CSS. CSI scores, using a previously determined cutoff of “40” of “100,” were compared between the CSS patient group (n=99) and the non-CSS patient group (n=62). Information on false positives, false negatives, true positives, and true negatives were analyzed, and sensitivity and specificity analyses were conducted. In addition, CSS-relevant variables such as depression, abuse, and substance abuse were examined.
Results: A large percentage of CSS patients had comorbid major depressive disorder (80%) and abuse history (43%), which was higher than rates for the patients without a CSS (55% and 24%, respectively). The CSI correctly identified 82.8% (n=82) of CSS patients as having a CSS (ie, sensitivity) and 54.8% (n=28) of non-CSS patients as not having a CSS (ie, specificity). False-positive patients (not diagnosed with a CSS, but scoring >40 on the CSI) reported more severe pain, interference in daily functioning, and abuse history, compared with the non-CSS patients who scored below 40 (ie, true negatives).
Conclusions: The CSI is a useful and valid instrument for screening patients for the possibility of a CSS, although the chances of false positives are relatively high when evaluating patients with complex pain and psychophysiological disorders.