Development and validation of the Youth Acute Pain Functional Ability Questionnaire (YAPFAQ)

William T. Zempsky, Emily A. O'Hara, James P. Santanelli, Tamara New, Kim Smith-Whitley, James Casella, Tonya M. Palermo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Physical function and functional recovery are important aspects of the acute pain experience in children and adolescents in hospitalized settings. Measures of function related to pediatric acute pain do not exist currently, limiting understanding of recovery in youth undergoing acute and procedural pain. To address this gap, we developed and assessed the clinical utility and preliminary validity of the Youth Acute Pain Functional Ability Questionnaire (YAPFAQ). We evaluated psychometric properties of this measure in 159 patients with sickle cell disease, ages 7 to 21 years, who were hospitalized for vaso-occlusive episodes at 4 urban children's hospitals. The YAPFAQ demonstrated strong internal reliability and test-retest reliability. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted to examine the preliminary factor structure and to help reduce the number of items for the final scale. Evidence for moderate construct validity was demonstrated among validated measures of pain burden, motor function, functional ability, and quality of life. The YAPFAQ is a new measure of youth functional ability in the acute pain setting. Further evaluation of this measure in additional pediatric populations is needed to understand applicability across a spectrum of youth experiencing acute pain related to illness, trauma, and medical/surgical procedures.

Perspective Measures of function in response to acute pain are needed in order to more comprehensively evaluate acute pain interventions in pediatrics; however, no specific measures are available. Our preliminary psychometric evaluation of an acute pain functional ability measure for youth indicates that it may be a promising tool for further refinement in additional pediatric acute pain populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1319-1327
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pain
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014


  • Sickle cell disease
  • adolescents
  • functional assessment
  • pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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