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01-11-2014 | Uitgave 9/2014

Quality of Life Research 9/2014

Psychometric properties of a brief, clinically relevant measure of pain in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 9/2014
Zeeshan Butt, Jin-Shei Lai, Jennifer L. Beaumont, Karen Kaiser, Rajiv Mallick, David Cella, Jennifer L. Steel



Due to diagnosis at advanced stages, comorbidities, and the impact of treatment, patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) may experience pain. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of a brief, clinically relevant measure of pain in HCC.


We conducted a secondary data analysis from four longitudinal studies of patients with HCC (total n = 304). All patients completed the FACT-Hepatobiliary (FACT-Hep) questionnaire, and 49 patients completed the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) Interference scale. We conducted confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), Rasch modeling, and correlational analysis to assess the psychometrics of the three items on the FACT-Hep that assess HCC-relevant pain scale.


Patients had an average age of 63.5 (±12.2) and were mostly male (76 %). The mean three-item pain subscale score was 8.5 ± 3.0. Seventy-four (24.3 %) patients reported no pain (score = 12). Results of a one-factor CFA supported unidimensionality of the items, and all items fit the Rasch model. An item-person map demonstrated that the three items covered all patients with non-extreme scores. Pain scores were significantly associated with baseline general health-related quality of life (FACT-General, r = 0.60, p < 0.001) and pain interference (BPI, r = −0.63, p < 0.001).


The three FACT-Hep pain items are unidimensional, cover the range of pain experienced by most patients with HCC, and demonstrate convergent validity. This pain subscale is, if future research demonstrates its sensitivity to change, potentially useful for HCC clinical trials.

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