Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Services Research & Development

Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Disentangling trait versus state characteristics of the Pain Catastrophizing Scale and the PHQ-8 Depression Scale.

Dumenci L, Kroenke K, Keefe FJ, Ang DC, Slover J, Perera RA, Riddle DL. Disentangling trait versus state characteristics of the Pain Catastrophizing Scale and the PHQ-8 Depression Scale. European journal of pain (London, England). 2020 Sep 1; 24(8):1624-1634.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


BACKGROUND: Research on the role of trait versus state characteristics of a variety of measures among persons experiencing pain has been a focus for the past few decades. Studying the trait versus state nature of the Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS) and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-8) depression scale would be highly informative given both are commonly measured in pain populations and neither scale has been studied for trait/state contributions. METHODS: The PHQ-8 and PCS were obtained on persons undergoing knee arthroplasty at baseline, 2-, 6- and 12-month post-surgery (N  =  402). The multi-trait generalization of the latent trait-state model was used to partition trait and state variability in PCS and PHQ-8 item responses simultaneously. A set of variables were used to predict trait catastrophizing and trait depression. RESULTS: For total scores, the latent traits and latent states explain 63.2% (trait  =  43.2%; state  =  20.0%) and 50.2% (trait  =  29.4%; state  =  20.8%) of the variability in PCS and PHQ-8, respectively. Patients with a high number of bodily pain sites, high levels of anxiety, young patients and African-American patients had high levels of trait catastrophizing and trait depression. The PCS and the PHQ-8 consist of both enduring trait and dynamic state characteristics, with trait characteristics dominating for both measures. CONCLUSION: Clinicians and researchers using these scales should not assume the obtained measurements solely reflect either trait- or state-based characteristics. SIGNIFICANCE: Clinicians and researchers using the PCS or PHQ-8 scales are measuring both state and trait characteristics and not just trait- or state-based characteristics.

Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team.

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.