Development of the Italian Version of the Pain Vigilance and Awareness Questionnaire in Subjects with Chronic Low Back Pain: Cross-cultural Adaptation, Confirmatory Factor Analysis, Reliability and Validity

Marco Monticone, Emilia Ambrosini, Barbara Rocca, Tiziana Nava, Erica Terragni, Cesare Cerri, Lance M. McCracken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Growing attention is being given to cognitive-behavioural measures to improve interventions for spinal disorders. The Pain Vigilance and Awareness Questionnaire (PVAQ) has never been validated in Italian subjects with chronic low back pain (LBP). Purpose: The purpose of this study is translating, culturally adapting and validating the Italian version of PVAQ (PVAQ-I). Methods: A cross-sectional evaluation of the psychometric properties of the PVAQ-I on patients with chronic LBP was conducted. The questionnaire was culturally adapted in accordance with international standards. The psychometric testing included confirmatory factor analysis, reliability by internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha) and test–retest reliability (intra-class correlation coefficient, ICC); construct validity by comparing the PVAQ-I with the Pain Catastrophising Scale (PCS), the Tampa Scale of Kinesiophobia (TSK), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Score (HADS), the Chronic Pain Acceptance Questionnaire (CPAQ), a Numerical Rating Scale of pain intensity (NRS) and the Oswestry Disability Questionnaire (ODI); and sensitivity to change by calculating the smallest detectable change. Results: The PVAQ-I was administered to 131 subjects with chronic LBP (77 females, mean age of 48 ± 16 years, median symptoms duration of 12 months). Factor analysis confirmed a two-factor (passive awareness and active vigilance), 13-item solution, which led to an acceptable data-model fit. Internal consistency (α = 0.91) and test–retest reliability (ICC = 0.92) were good. As a priori hypothesized, construct validity showed moderate correlations between the PVAQ-I and PCS (r = 0.60), TSK (r = 0.44) and HADS-Anxiety (r = 0.53) and low correlations with HADS-Depression (r = 0.28), NRS (r = 0.28), ODI (r = 0.23) and CPAQ (r = −0.12). The smallest detectable change was 9. Conclusion: The PVAQ was successfully translated into Italian and proved to have satisfactory psychometric properties. Its use is recommended for clinical and research purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-223
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2016



  • Confirmatory factor analysis
  • Low back pain
  • Outcome measures
  • Pain Vigilance and Awareness Questionnaire
  • Psychometric properties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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