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

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR Citation Abstract

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

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. 2024 Jan 1; 25(1):142-152.

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


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.

Questions about the HSR 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.