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Comparable Minimally Important Differences and Responsiveness of Brief Pain Inventory and PEG Pain Scales across 6 Trials.
Reed DE, Stump TE, Monahan PO, Kroenke K. Comparable Minimally Important Differences and Responsiveness of Brief Pain Inventory and PEG Pain Scales across 6 Trials. The journal of pain. 2023 Aug 5.
The 3-item pain intensity (P), interference with the enjoyment of life (E), and interference with general activity (G), or PEG, has become one of the most widely used measures of pain severity and interference. The minimally important differences (MID) and responsiveness of the PEG are essential metrics for solidifying its role in research and clinical care. The current study aims to establish the MID and responsiveness of the PEG by synthesizing data from 1,710 participants across 6 controlled trials. MIDs were estimated using absolute score changes among individuals reporting their pain was "a little better" on a retrospective global change anchor as well as distribution-based estimates using standard deviation thresholds and 1 and 2 standard errors of measurement. Responsiveness was assessed using standardized response means, area under the curve, and treatment effect sizes. MID estimates for the PEG ranged from 0.60 to 1.1 when using 0.35 SD, and 0.78 to 1.22 using 1 standard error of measurement. MID estimates using the global anchor had somewhat more variability but most estimates ranged from 1.0 to 1.75. Responsiveness effect sizes were generally large ( > .80) for standardized response means and moderate ( > .50) for treatment effect. Similarly, the most area under the curve values demonstrated an acceptable level of scale responsiveness ( = .70). Importantly, MID estimates and responsiveness of the PEG and BPI scales were largely comparable when aggregating data across trials. Our synthesis indicates that 1 point is a reasonable MID estimate on these 0- to 10-point pain scales, with 2 points being an upper bound. PERSPECTIVE: This article synthesizes data from 6 clinical trials to establish the minimally important difference (MID) and responsiveness of the 3-item PEG pain scale. The PEG demonstrated good responsiveness, and 1 to 2 points proved to be reasonable estimates for the lower and upper bounds of the MID.