"Convergent validity of the central sensitization inventory and experimental testing of pain sensitivity"

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OBJECTIVES: The aim of the current study was to examine the convergent validity of the Central Sensitization Inventory by quantifying the correlation with experimental measures of pain sensitivity and self-reported psycho-social questionnaires, in a low back pain population.

METHODS: All participants were recruited from an outpatient hospital spine care clinic (Spine Centre of Southern Denmark). Participants underwent a standardized experimental pain test protocol and completed the Central Sensitization Inventory (CSI) along with additional self-reported questionnaires to assess psycho-social constructs across different domains. The association between the CSI, experimental pain measures and other self-reported psycho-social questionnaires were analyzed using correlation and contingency tests. ROC-curve analysis was used to determine sensitivity and specificity for CSI.

RESULTS: One hundred sixty-eight (168) participants were included. The CSI was weakly correlated with nine out of 20 variables in the experimental pain test protocol (rho range -0.37 to 0.22). The CSI was more closely correlated with psycho-social factors such as work ability, disability, and symptoms of exhaustion disorder. ROC-analysis identified an optimal cut-point of 44 on CSI (Sn=39.1% Sp=87.4%). The CSI had an area under the ROC curve of 0.656. Fisher's exact test demonstrated a statistically significant association between participants scoring ≥40 on CSI and participants categorized as sensitized by experimental pain tests (p-value=0.03).

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings are consistent with previous studies, indicating that the CSI is related to psycho-social constructs. However, the convergent validity with experimental pain measures is small and probably not clinically meaningful.

TidsskriftScandinavian Journal of Pain
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)597-613
StatusUdgivet - 26. jul. 2022

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