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Pain Questionnaire Development Focusing on Cross-Cultural Equivalence to the Original Questionnaire: The Japanese Version of the Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire


Masako Hosoi, MD, PhD, Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, Kyushu University Hospital, 3-1-1 Maidashi, Higashiku, Fukuoka 812-8582, Japan. Tel: +81-92-642-5320; Fax: +81-92-642-5336; E-mail:


Objectives.  The present study aimed to develop a Japanese version of the Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire (SF-MPQ-J) that focuses on cross-culturally equivalence to the original English version and to test its reliability and validity.

Design.  Cross-sectional design.

Method.  In study 1, SF-MPQ was translated and adapted into Japanese. It included construction of response scales equivalent to the original using a variation of the Thurstone method of equal-appearing intervals. A total of 147 undergraduate students and 44 pain patients participated in the development of the Japanese response scales. To measure the equivalence of pain descriptors, 62 pain patients in four diagnostic groups were asked to choose pain descriptors that described their pain. In study 2, chronic pain patients (N = 126) completed the SF-MPQ-J, the Long-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire Japanese version (LF-MPQ-J), and the 11-point numerical rating scale of pain intensity. Correlation analysis examined the construct validity of the SF-MPQ-J.

Results.  The results from study 1 were used to develop SF-MPQ-J, which is linguistically equivalent to the original questionnaire. Response scales from SF-MPQ-J represented the original scale values. All pain descriptors, except one, were used by >33% in at least one of the four diagnostic groups. Study 2 exhibited adequate internal consistency and test–retest reliability, with the construct validity of SF-MPQ-J comparable to the original.

Conclusion.  These findings suggested that SF-MPQ-J is reliable, valid, and cross-culturally equivalent to the original questionnaire. Researchers might consider using this scale in multicenter, multi-ethnical trials or cross-cultural studies that include Japanese-speaking patients.