Validation of the Mandarin Chinese Version of the Pain Sensitivity Questionnaire

Xiaoli Quan, Daniel Yee Tak Fong, Yee Man Angela Leung, Qin Liao, Ruth Ruscheweyh, Pui Hing Chau

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Aim: The Pain Sensitivity Questionnaire (PSQ), a self-reported scale, has been used to assess the pain sensitivity level in a Caucasian population. However, a validated Mandarin Chinese version of the PSQ is not available. This study was aimed to translate the PSQ into Mandarin Chinese (PSQ-C) and validate it to measure pain sensitivity among Chinese people. Methods: The English version of the PSQ has been translated into Mandarin Chinese (PSQ-C), according to the standard steps of cross-cultural adaptation of self-reported scales. Three of the 17 items were revised owing to cultural adaptation. The final version was validated on a population of 182 Chinese people in Changsha City, China, during October to December 2015. The participants underwent electrical experimental pain testing. The psychometric properties of the PSQ-C and its subscales were examined. Results: The Cronbach's alpha coefficients for the PSQ-C-total, PSQ-C-moderate, and PSQ-C-minor were 0.90, 0.86, and 0.81, respectively. Acceptable test-retest reliability, content validity, and construct validity were demonstrated. Concurrent validity was shown via significant positive correlations between PSQ-C scores and perceived pain intensity at pain threshold and during pain stimulation with a fixed intensity. Convergent validity was shown via significant positive correlations between Pain Catastrophizing Scale scores and PSQ-C scores. Known group validity was demonstrated via higher PSQ-C-total and PSQ-C-moderate scores among those with high neuroticism scores. These results indicate that the PSQ-C has reasonably good psychometric properties, similar to the original English and German versions. Conclusion: The PSQ-C is a reliable and useful tool to assess pain sensitivity levels in a Chinese population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-193
Number of pages14
JournalPain Practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018


  • Chinese
  • cultural adaptation
  • experimental pain testing
  • pain sensitivity questionnaire
  • translation
  • validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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