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Validation of the Orbach & Mikulincer Mental Pain Scale (OMMP) on a drug addicted population

Abstract

Purpose

Recognizing the relevance of mental pain in drug addiction, this study aimed to adapt and validate the Portuguese translation of the Orbach & Mikulincer Mental Pain Scale (OMMP) on a drug addicted population and assess its psychometric properties.

Methods

The study sample (N = 403) was collected from several outpatient treatment centres for drug addiction and in therapeutic communities located in the north of Portugal. The validation of the OMMP Scale followed the same method considered by the authors of the original scale.

Results

A confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was performed and did not confirm the structure of eight factors provided by the authors. An exploratory factor analysis revealed a five-factor model (labeled emptiness, irreversibility, emotional flooding, helplessness and confusion) leading to a reduction from 40 to 24 items. The OMMP-24-P showed acceptable levels for internal consistency and test–retest reliability. Confirmatory factor analysis indices supported the five-factor model. OMMP-24-P factors were positively correlated with measures of stress, anxiety and depression, negatively associated with quality of life, and showed small to moderate positive correlations with drug addiction severity, with exception of the helplessness factor.

Conclusions

This study has shown the OMMP-24-P to be a valid and reliable scale for assessment and evaluation of mental pain among drug addicts. Further research should attempt to determine the contribution that mental pain can provide towards an understanding of drug addiction dynamics and other psychopathological syndromes, and thereby contribute to the development of more effective treatment programs.

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Acknowledgments

The authors want to acknowledge Israel Orbach for his permission and contribution in the translation of the OMMP instrument, and the authors of the Portuguese versions of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS-21), the Drug Abuse Screening Test (DAST) and World Health Organization’s Quality of Life instrument (WHOQOL-BREF) for their permission to use the instruments. The authors wish to thank the contribution of the Portuguese national centre for drug addiction (Instituto da Droga e da Toxicodependência), the therapeutic communities, the involved therapists for their contribution in the field work and all participants.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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Correspondence to Margarida Fonseca Cardoso.

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Guimarães, R., Fleming, M. & Cardoso, M.F. Validation of the Orbach & Mikulincer Mental Pain Scale (OMMP) on a drug addicted population. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 49, 405–415 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00127-013-0751-6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00127-013-0751-6

Keywords

  • Mental pain
  • Addiction
  • Psychometrics
  • Reliability and validity
  • Factor analysis