Objective—To validate the use of a novel questionnaire as an instrument for measurement of chronic pain in dogs through its impact on health-related quality of life (HRQL).
Animals—108 dogs with chronic degenerative joint disease and 26 healthy dogs.
Procedures—Questionnaire responses were subjected to factor analysis (FA) and questionnaire scores to discriminant analysis to evaluate construct validity. Questionnaire scores were used to explore the potential of this instrument for minimizing respondent bias and for evaluative purposes.
Results—FA results revealed a sensible factor structure accounting for 65% of the variance in data, with factors identifiable as domains of HRQL in dogs affected by chronic pain. Further evidence for construct validity was provided when questionnaire scores were used to discriminate, on the basis of 218 questionnaires, between dogs with clinician-awarded pain scores of 0 and dogs with pain scores ≥ 1 (88% discrimination, with 95% of no-pain group dogs and 87% of some-pain group dogs correctly categorized). Use of the questionnaire provided minimized respondent bias.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Validation of the questionnaire as an instrument for discriminative and evaluative measurements of orthopedic chronic pain through its impact on HRQL in dogs was provided. Use of the questionnaire, with further testing and refinement, may support improved clinical decision making, facilitate development of evidence-based therapeutic options for chronic diseases, and help veterinarians and owners define humane end points in dogs.
Impact for Human Medicine—Information gained here may provide improved measurements of clinical change in animal studies that use dogs with naturally occurring chronic pain to evaluate novel human treatment protocols.