Langenbeck's Archives of Surgery

, Volume 397, Issue 8, pp 1219–1224 | Cite as

Validation of a questionnaire for the assessment of pain following ventral hernia repair—the VHPQ

  • Leonard ClayEmail author
  • Ulf Fränneby
  • Gabriel Sandblom
  • Ulf Gunnarsson
  • Karin Strigård
Original Article



The aim of this study was to create and evaluate the validity and reliability of a novel ventral hernia pain questionnaire (VHPQ) to assess pain following surgery for ventral hernia.


The questionnaire was constructed using focus groups and patient interviews. Validity was tested on 51 patients who responded to the VHPQ and brief pain inventory (BPI) 1 and 4 weeks following surgery. Reliability and internal consistency was tested on 74 patients who had surgery 3 years earlier and received the VHPQ and BPI on two separate occasions. Pain not related to surgery was examined on one occasion using the VHPQ on 100 non-operated people.


For pain intensity items, a significant decrease was seen from week 1 to week 4 postoperative (p < 0.05). Spearman rank correlations were significant between the pain intensity items of the VHPQ and the BPI, tested 1 week postoperative (p < 0.05). Kappa levels for test–retest of items for interference with daily activities were higher than 0.5 for all items except one. Intra-class correlation was significant for pain intensity items (p < 0.05) in the test–retest group. Three years after surgery, the operated group stated more pain in the pain intensity items (p < 0.05) and more interference with daily activities (p < 0.05) than a non-operated group from the general population.


The validity and reliability of the VHPQ make it a useful tool in assessing postoperative pain and patient satisfaction.


Ventral hernia Postoperative pain Pain assessment Pain questionnaire 


Conflicts of interest


Supplementary material

423_2012_932_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (127 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 126 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leonard Clay
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Ulf Fränneby
    • 2
  • Gabriel Sandblom
    • 1
  • Ulf Gunnarsson
    • 1
  • Karin Strigård
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technique, Division of SurgeryKarolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Department of Clinical Research and Education, Division of SurgeryKarolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden
  3. 3.Department of SurgeryNorrlands University Hospital/Umeå UniversityUmeåSweden
  4. 4.Department of SurgeryKarolinska University HospitalStockholmSweden

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