Development of the composite catastrophizing measure-short form (CCM-SF)

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Pain-related cognitions play an important role in the pain experience. Several different pain cognitions are frequently assessed in both research and clinical evaluation. Among them, pain catastrophizing has been shown to be particularly predictive of a number of pain outcomes. The Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS) is the most widely used measure of pain catastrophizing and shows good reliability and validity. However, research suggests that catastrophizing may not be fully captured by the three scales comprising the PCS. The goal of this study was to develop and validate a new measure of pain catastrophizing. The new measure, The Composite Catastrophizing Measure - Short Form (CCM-SF), was developed from data collected on 73 items from the PCS and other related measures (N=220). These items were subjected to factor analyses and 14 were selected to represent two scales: pain preoccupation and pain worry. The new measure was administered to 223 undergraduate students prior to and after a cold pressor task (CPT) to assess both dispositional and situational pain cognitions. The CCM-SF showed good internal consistency for both the dispositional (α=.92) and situational (α=.91) administrations. Correlation analyses showed that both administrations of the CCM-SF were predictive of pain outcomes (pain intensity, unpleasantness, and tolerance) from the experimental pain task. Confirmatory factor analysis indicated that its factor structure remained consistent over time. Analyses also revealed that, when evaluated individually, the pain preoccupation subscale was a better predictor than the pain worry subscale of pain outcomes related to the CPT. It is hypothesized that the pain worry subscale will contribute more to the assessment of clinical pain samples than experimental pain samples. The CCM-SF seems to be psychometrically comparable to current gold standard measurements of pain catastrophizing. Beyond this, the CCM-SF offers unique subscales that allow for the versatile assessment of pain across domains (e.g. experimental, chronic, and acute). Future research should explore the summative and subscale scores from the CCM-SF in clinical samples.

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