Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis of the PROMIS pain quality item bank

Dennis A. Revicki*, Karon F. Cook, Dagmar Amtmann, Neesha Harnam, Wen Hung Chen, Francis J. Keefe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Purpose: The assessment of pain sensation and quality is a key component in understanding the experience of individuals with chronic pain. This study evaluated the factor structure of the patient-reported outcome measurement information system (PROMIS) pain quality item bank. Methods: As part of the PROMIS project, we developed a pool of 37 pain quality items, based on a review of existing pain questionnaires and development of new items. A web-based survey was designed and completed by 845 members of the general population and 967 individuals with different types of chronic pain. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was conducted on a random split-half sample of the data to examine the factor structure of the 37 PROMIS pain quality items in the general population and in a chronic pain sample. A confirmatory factor analysis was conducted in the holdout sample. Results: The EFA of the pain quality items resulted in comparable six-factor solutions for the general and chronic pain samples: (1) pulling/tugging pain; (2) tingling/numbness pain; (3) sharp/stabbing pain; (4) dull/aching pain; (5) pounding/pulsing pain; and (6) affective pain. The confirmatory factor analysis in the holdout sample supported this factor structure. Conclusions: Further research is needed to evaluate the psychometric characteristics of the derived scales based on their factor scores.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-255
Number of pages11
JournalQuality of Life Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • Chronic pain
  • Factor analysis
  • General population
  • Pain assessment
  • Pain quality
  • Patient-reported outcome measurement information system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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