Translation and validation of the pain sensitivity questionnaire for the healthy portuguese population

  • Joana Maria da Silva Alves (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Several clinical and experimental procedures have been developed with the aim to assess pain sensitivity. The Pain Sensitivity Questionnaire (PSQ) developed by Ruscheweyh, Marziniak, Stumpenhorst, Reinholz and Knecht (2009) is the first instrument of self-assessment of pain in healthy individuals and demonstrated that it is possible to assess pain sensitivity using a questionnaire. This instrument was not yet validated for the portuguese population.The PSQ was translated according to the international guidelines and then presented to a group of 289 healthy individuals. Factorial analysis indicated, as in the original version, a two-component solution (PSQ-Minor and PSQ-Moderate). Theinternal consistency and convergent validity were good.Results from a subsample of 42 healthy individuals matched with 42 fibromyalgia patients (FM) were compared to assess the sensitivity of the questionnaire. The results demonstrated that FM group scored significantly higher on all PSQ-PT (Healthy PSQ-PTTotal: M=4,67, SD=1,68; Healthy PSQ-PT Minor: M=3,80, SD=1,89; Healthy PSQ-PT Moderate: M=5,70, SD=1,77) and FM group (FM PSQ-PT Total: M=6,86, SD=1,99, FMPSQ-PT Minor: M=6,45, SD=2,41, FM PSQ-PT Moderate: M=7,57, SD=1,78) were significant for all items and Scores (p<0,000).Finally, a comprehensive experimental pain testing, including different modalities(cold, heat and pressure) and different measures (pain thresholds, pain intensity ratings and Cold Pressor Test) and neuropsychological assessment (Digit Span) was performed in 12 healthy individuals with the aim of providing clues for future experimental studies.In this pilot study it was found correlations between cognitive functioning and cold pain threshold (ϒ=0.70, p<0.00; ϒ=-0.689, p<0.05).In summary, the portuguese version of the PSQ demonstrated a clinically relevant factorial structure, good internal consistency, convergent validity. Based on these findings the portuguese version of PSQ seems to be a good questionnaire to assess pain sensitivity. for improving diagnose, assessment, clinical and research settings.
Date of Award29 Nov 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorRita Canaipa (Supervisor) & Roi Treister (Co-Supervisor)


  • Cognition
  • Experimental pain measurement
  • Pain sensivity
  • PSQ
  • Fibromyalgia


  • Mestrado em Neuropsicologia

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