Recognising ethnocultural diversity in chronic pain assessment

validation of the Pictorial Representation of Illness and Self Measure (PRISM) for use with culturally diverse communities

Bernadette Brady, Irena Veljanova, Toni Andary, Troy Southwell, Lucinda Chipchase

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Background: A comprehensive and accurate assessment of pain is critical for successful pain management. However, there is a lack of reliable and valid assessment tools for exploring multidimensional aspects of the chronic pain experience in culturally and linguistically diverse communities. This study investigates the reliability and validity of the Pictorial Representation of Illness and Self Measure + (PRISM+) for evaluating pain-related suffering and the sociocultural context of chronic pain within culturally and linguistically diverse patient cohorts. Method: Three prospective validation studies are reported for three culturally and linguistically diverse communities. Two hundred and fifty-one patients with chronic pain who self-identified as Assyrian (n = 85), Arabic (n = 83) or Vietnamese (n = 83) completed a PRISM+ assessment, alongside a battery of standardised pain assessments. To evaluate construct validity, the position of the 'pain' disk placement was correlated with the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI), Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS), and the Short-Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36). For content validity, thematic analysis of patient narratives accompanying each disk placement was conducted. Test-retest reliability of repeated 'pain' and five additional disks (PRISM+) values was analysed using intra-class correlation coefficients. Results: The PRISM pain assessment demonstrated moderate to good test-retest reliability for Arabic (ICC 0.76; 95% CI 0.65-0.84), Assyrian (ICC 0.65; 95% CI 0.50-0.76) and Vietnamese (ICC 0.82; 95% CI 0.73-0.88) patients. Moderate correlations between the PRISM 'pain' disk and sub-scores for the BPI, DASS and SF-36 were found (p < 0.001). Patient interpretations of the 'pain' disk aligned with accepted definitions of suffering, supporting content validity for PRISM. For the additional disks (PRISM+), moderate to good test-retest reliability (ICC 0.67-0.88) was observed and qualitative analysis highlighted each disk reflected social and cultural values. Conclusion: The PRISM demonstrates acceptable psychometric properties for measuring pain-related suffering for participants with chronic pain across three culturally and linguistically diverse communities. The use of additional disks (PRISM+) presents a reliable and valid option for exploring social and cultural dimensions of chronic pain in clinical encounters.

Original languageEnglish
Article number56
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalHealth and Quality of Life Outcomes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2019


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