Assessing fear in patients with cervical pain: Development and validation of the Pictorial Fear of Activity Scale-Cervical (PFActS-C)

Dennis C. Turk, James P. Robinson, Jeffrey J. Sherman, Tasha Burwinkle, Kimberly Swanson

This study reports on the development of a Pictorial Fear of Activity Scale-Cervical (PFActS-C). The instrument consists of a set of photographs depicting movements in which four factors that determine biomechanical demands on the neck are systematically varied – Direction of Movement, Arm Position, Weight Bearing, and Extremity of Movement. Patients who had been involved in motor vehicle collisions 143 with minimal symptoms and 212 with moderate to severe symptoms rated their fear of engaging in a set of activities depicted in the PFActS-C. Based on a principle components analysis, a 19 item measure was developed. Internal consistency, stability over time, and construct validity were all good to excellent.

The results indicate that the PFActS-C may be a useful tool for assessing fear of movement in patients with cervical pain. Research is needed to confirm the factor structure of the PFActS-C and to assess the generalizability of the results to other samples with neck pain.

Pain, 2008, 139(1), 55-62

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