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Development and evaluation of the PI-G: a three-scale measure based on the German translation of the PROMIS® pain interference item bank



Study aim was to translate the PROMIS® pain interference (PI) item bank (41 items) into German, test its psychometric properties in patients with chronic low back pain and develop static subforms.


We surveyed N = 262 patients undergoing rehabilitation who were asked to fill out questionnaires at the beginning and 2 weeks after the end of rehabilitation, applying the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and Pain Disability Index (PDI) in addition to the PROMIS® PI items. For psychometric testing, a 1-parameter item response theory (IRT) model was used. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses as well as reliability and construct validity analyses were conducted.


The assumptions regarding IRT scaling of the translated PROMIS® PI item bank as a whole were not confirmed. However, we succeeded in devising three static subforms (PI-G scales: PI mental 13 items, PI functional 11 items, PI physical 4 items), revealing good psychometric properties.


The PI-G scales in their static form can be recommended for use in German-speaking countries. Their strengths versus the ODI and PDI are that pain interference is assessed in a differentiated manner and that several psychometric values are somewhat better than those associated with the ODI and PDI (distribution properties, IRT model fit, reliability). To develop an IRT-scaled item bank of the German translations of the PROMIS® PI items, it would be useful to have additional studies (e.g., with larger sample sizes and using a 2-parameter IRT model).

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We thank the anonymous reviewers as well as the editor for their careful reading of our manuscript and their many insightful comments and suggestions. We thank the PROMIS® network for reviewing our translation and for their technical support during the project. We also thank Ms Desiree Kosiol and Ms Milena Meder for their support during the translation process and data acquisition. Finally, we thank the participating rehabilitation centers, their staff and all participating patients: Klinik am Brunnenberg, Bad Elster; Thermalbad Wiesenbad, Wiesa/OT Wiesenbad; Ziegelfeld-Klinik St. Blasien; m&I Fachklinik Hohenurach, Bad Urach; Marcus-Klinik, Bad Driburg; RehaKlinikum Bad Säckingen GmbH, Bad Säckingen; Weserland-Klinik Bad Seebruch, Vlotho; Klinik Dr. Muschinsky, Bad Lauterberg.

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Correspondence to Erik Farin.

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Farin, E., Nagl, M., Gramm, L. et al. Development and evaluation of the PI-G: a three-scale measure based on the German translation of the PROMIS® pain interference item bank. Qual Life Res 23, 1255–1265 (2014).

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  • Pain interference
  • Back pain
  • Patient-reported outcome