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Clinical assessment of the impact of pelvic pain on women

Chalmers, K. Jane; Catley, Mark J.; Evans, Susan F.; Moseley, G. Lorimer

doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000000789
Research Paper

We aimed to develop a questionnaire that assesses the impact of pelvic pain on women, regardless of diagnosis, that has high utility, sound psychometric performance, easy scoring, and high reliability. Two studies, with 3 separate cohorts, were undertaken. Both studies were completed online. Studies included women with self-reported pelvic pain. Women were eligible to participate regardless of whether their pelvic pain was undiagnosed, self-diagnosed, or diagnosed by a clinician. Study 1 used a 3-round “patient-as-expert” Delphi technique. These rounds defined the 10 aspects of life with the self-reported greatest impact on the lives of women with pelvic pain, which formed the questionnaire. Study 2 used Rasch analysis to assess the psychometric properties of the resultant 10-item questionnaire. To assess its reliability, a subgroup completed the questionnaire 3 times over a 3-week period. In study 1, 443 women with pelvic pain participated. The resultant 10-item questionnaire consisted of 8 Likert questions and 2 supplemental, nonscored questions. In study 2, 1203 women with pelvic pain completed the questionnaire. Rasch analysis showed that the questionnaire targeted the pelvic pain population well, had appropriate Likert categories, constituted a unidimensional scale, and showed internal consistency. Twenty-seven women with pelvic pain completed the reliability trial. Test–retest reliability was high (intraclass correlation coefficient 0.91, P < 0.001). The resultant Pelvic Pain Impact Questionnaire assesses the life impact of pelvic pain. It uses patient-generated language, is easily administered and scored, has very strong psychometric properties, and it is suitable for research and clinical settings across primary, secondary, and tertiary care.

Supplemental Digital Content is Available in the Text.The Pelvic Pain Impact Questionnaire assesses the impact that pelvic pain has on a woman's life and has high utility in clinical practice and research.

aSansom Institute for Health Research, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia

bPelvic Pain SA, Adelaide, Australia

Corresponding author. Address: School of Science and Health, Western Sydney University, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith, New South Wales, Australia 2751. Tel.: +61 2 4620 3851. E-mail address: (K. J. Chalmers).

Sponsorships or competing interests that may be relevant to content are disclosed at the end of this article.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (

Received June 27, 2016

Received in revised form November 21, 2016

Accepted November 28, 2016

© 2017 International Association for the Study of Pain
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