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Assessing the Psychometric Properties of an Activity Pacing Questionnaire for Chronic Pain and Fatigue

Antcliff, Deborah, Campbell, Malcolm, Woby, Steve and Keeley, Philip (2015) Assessing the Psychometric Properties of an Activity Pacing Questionnaire for Chronic Pain and Fatigue. Physical Therapy, 95 (9). pp. 1274-1286. ISSN 0031-9023

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Abstract

Background Therapists frequently advise the use of activity pacing as a coping strategy to manage long-term conditions (eg, chronic low back pain, chronic widespread pain, chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis). However, activity pacing has not been clearly operationalized, and there is a paucity of empirical evidence regarding pacing. This paucity of evidence may be partly due to the absence of a widely used pacing scale. To address the limitations of existing pacing scales, the 38-item Activity Pacing Questionnaire (APQ-38) was previously developed using the Delphi technique.

Objective The aims of this study were: (1) to explore the psychometric properties of the APQ-38, (2) to identify underlying pacing themes, and (3) to assess the reliability and validity of the scale.

Design This was a cross-sectional questionnaire study.

Methods Three hundred eleven adult patients with chronic pain or fatigue participated, of whom 69 completed the test-retest analysis. Data obtained for the APQ-38 were analyzed using exploratory factor analysis, internal and test-retest reliability, and validity against 2 existing pacing subscales and validated measures of pain, fatigue, anxiety, depression, avoidance, and mental and physical function.

Results Following factor analysis, 12 items were removed from the APQ-38, and 5 themes of pacing were identified in the resulting 26-item Activity Pacing Questionnaire (APQ-26): activity adjustment, activity consistency, activity progression, activity planning, and activity acceptance. These themes demonstrated satisfactory internal consistency (Cronbach α=.72–.92), test-retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient=.50–.78, P≤.001), and construct validity. Activity adjustment, activity progression, and activity acceptance correlated with worsened symptoms; activity consistency correlated with improved symptoms; and activity planning correlated with both improved and worsened symptoms.

Limitations Data were collected from self-report questionnaires only.

Conclusions Developed to be widely used across a heterogeneous group of patients with chronic pain or fatigue, the APQ-26 is multifaceted and demonstrates reliability and validity. Further study will explore the effects of pacing on patients' symptoms to guide therapists toward advising pacing themes with empirical benefits.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Cherry Edmunds
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2016 16:13
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2016 16:13
URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/27506

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