Quality of Life Research

, Volume 22, Issue 7, pp 1767–1772 | Cite as

Validation of the Korean version of the Pain Catastrophizing Scale in patients with chronic non-cancer pain

  • Sungkun Cho
  • Hye-Young Kim
  • Jang-Han LeeEmail author
Brief Communication



Pain catastrophizing often has been measured using the Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS). Studies of the PCS nearly consistently support its three-factor structure (i.e., helplessness, magnification, and rumination) and satisfactory psychometric properties across different countries and languages. This study aimed to assess the generalizability of the three-factor structure of the PCS to Korean patients with chronic non-cancer pain and to investigate reliability, measurement error, and construct validity of a Korean version of the PCS (K-PCS).


A total of 182 patients with chronic pain seeking treatment in a tertiary pain center located in Seoul, Korea, participated.


Confirmatory factor analysis demonstrated the adequacy of the three-factor structure of the K-PCS; ‘helplessness,’ ‘magnification,’ and ‘rumination.’ The internal consistency for ‘helplessness,’ ‘magnification,’ ‘rumination,’ and total scale of the K-PCS were Cronbach’s α = .90, .71, .86, and .93, respectively; test–retest stability, ICC = .77, .73, .65, and .79, respectively; the standard estimation of measurement, 1.93, 1.34, 2.13, and 3.72, respectively; the minimum detectable change, 5.33, 3.70, 5.89, and 10.28, respectively; and the limits of agreement, −7.66 to 9.20, −5.07 to 5.01, −7.30 to 6.86, and −15.26 to 16.46, respectively. At least moderate positive correlations were observed between the K-PCS and pain intensity, depression, and pain-related anxiety, and moderate negative correlations between the K-PCS and physical and psychological functioning.


The K-PCS has the reliability, measurement error, and construct validity support for assessing pain catastrophizing in a Korean patient sample with chronic non-cancer pain.


Chronic pain Korean Pain Catastrophizing Scale Validity 



Chronic non-cancer pain


Pain Catastrophizing Scale


Korean version of Pain Catastrophizing Scale


Numerical Rating Scale


Beck Depression Inventory


Pain Anxiety Symptom Scale-20


Short Form-36


Confirmatory factor analysis


Root-mean square error of approximation


Comparative fit index


Non-normed fit index


Intraclass correlation


Standard error of measurement


Minimum detectable change


Limits of agreement



This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2012R1A1A2008624).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyChung-Ang UniversitySeoulKorea

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