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Validity and reliability of the Spanish version of the DN4 (Douleur Neuropathique 4 questions) questionnaire for differential diagnosis of pain syndromes associated to a neuropathic or somatic component

Author(s): Perez Concepcion | Galvez Rafael | Huelbes Silvia | Insausti Joaquin | Bouhassira Didier | Diaz Silvia | Rejas Javier

Journal: Health and Quality of Life Outcomes
ISSN 1477-7525

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 66;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Abstract Background This study assesses the validity and reliability of the Spanish version of DN4 questionnaire as a tool for differential diagnosis of pain syndromes associated to a neuropathic (NP) or somatic component (non-neuropathic pain, NNP). Methods A study was conducted consisting of two phases: cultural adaptation into the Spanish language by means of conceptual equivalence, including forward and backward translations in duplicate and cognitive debriefing, and testing of psychometric properties in patients with NP (peripheral, central and mixed) and NNP. The analysis of psychometric properties included reliability (internal consistency, inter-rater agreement and test-retest reliability) and validity (ROC curve analysis, agreement with the reference diagnosis and determination of sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values in different subsamples according to type of NP). Results A sample of 164 subjects (99 women, 60.4%; age: 60.4 ± 16.0 years), 94 (57.3%) with NP (36 with peripheral, 32 with central, and 26 with mixed pain) and 70 with NNP was enrolled. The questionnaire was reliable [Cronbach's alpha coefficient: 0.71, inter-rater agreement coefficient: 0.80 (0.71–0.89), and test-retest intra-class correlation coefficient: 0.95 (0.92–0.97)] and valid for a cut-off value ≥ 4 points, which was the best value to discriminate between NP and NNP subjects. Discussion This study, representing the first validation of the DN4 questionnaire into another language different than the original, not only supported its high discriminatory value for identification of neuropathic pain, but also provided supplemental psychometric validation (i.e. test-retest reliability, influence of educational level and pain intensity) and showed its validity in mixed pain syndromes.

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