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Assessing repeatability and validity of a visual analogue scale questionnaire for use in assessing pain and lameness in dogs

Jonathan T. HudsonDepartment of Veterinary Anatomy and Public Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.
Present address is 1416 Flowers Rd, Carrollton, TX 75007.

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Margaret R. SlaterDepartment of Veterinary Anatomy and Public Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.

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Lathrop TaylorDepartment of Veterinary Anatomy and Public Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.

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H. Morgan ScottDepartment of Veterinary Anatomy and Public Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.

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Sharon C. KerwinDepartment of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.

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Abstract

Objective—To develop a visual analogue scale (VAS) questionnaire that is repeatable and valid for use in assessing pain and lameness in dogs.

Sample Population—48 client-owned dogs with mild to moderate lameness.

Procedure—The dogs were from 3 studies conducted during a 3-year period. Of the 48 dogs, 19 were used in repeatability assessment, 48 were used in principal component analysis, and 44 were used in model selection procedures and validity testing. A test-retest measure of repeatability was conducted on dogs with a change of < 10% in vertical peak force. A force platform was used as the criterion-referenced standard for detecting lameness. Principal component analysis was used to describe dimensionality of the data. Repeatable questions were used as explanatory variables in multiple regression models to predict force plate measurements. Peak vertical, craniocaudal, and associated impulses were the forces used to quantify lameness. The regression models were used to test the criterion validity of the questionnaire.

Results—19 of 39 questions were found to be repeatable on the basis of a Spearman rank-correlation cut point of > 0.6. Model selection procedures resulted in 3 overlapping subsets of questions that were considered valid representations of the forces measured (vertical peak, vertical impulse, and propulsion peak). Each reduced model fit the data as well as the full model.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The VAS questionnaire was repeatable and valid for use in assessing the degree of mild to moderate lameness in dogs. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1634–1643)

Abstract

Objective—To develop a visual analogue scale (VAS) questionnaire that is repeatable and valid for use in assessing pain and lameness in dogs.

Sample Population—48 client-owned dogs with mild to moderate lameness.

Procedure—The dogs were from 3 studies conducted during a 3-year period. Of the 48 dogs, 19 were used in repeatability assessment, 48 were used in principal component analysis, and 44 were used in model selection procedures and validity testing. A test-retest measure of repeatability was conducted on dogs with a change of < 10% in vertical peak force. A force platform was used as the criterion-referenced standard for detecting lameness. Principal component analysis was used to describe dimensionality of the data. Repeatable questions were used as explanatory variables in multiple regression models to predict force plate measurements. Peak vertical, craniocaudal, and associated impulses were the forces used to quantify lameness. The regression models were used to test the criterion validity of the questionnaire.

Results—19 of 39 questions were found to be repeatable on the basis of a Spearman rank-correlation cut point of > 0.6. Model selection procedures resulted in 3 overlapping subsets of questions that were considered valid representations of the forces measured (vertical peak, vertical impulse, and propulsion peak). Each reduced model fit the data as well as the full model.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The VAS questionnaire was repeatable and valid for use in assessing the degree of mild to moderate lameness in dogs. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1634–1643)