Development and Preliminary Validation of a Pain Scale Specific to Patients With Voice Disorders: The Voice-Related Pain Scale (VRPS)

Published:October 13, 2020DOI:



      Although pain is one of the complaints reported by voice patients, still there is no valid and reliable scale to evaluate pain in Patients with Voice Disorders (PWVDs). Therefore, the aim of the present study was to develop and validate the Voice-Related Pain Scale (VRPS).


      The present study was conducted in two stages: (1) development of the VRPS based on semistructured interviews with PWVDs and experts in the field of voice disorders and an in-depth literature review, and (2) Evaluation of the psychometric properties of the VRPS. Determining the validity and reliability of the VRPS was performed using qualitative and quantitative content validity, the qualitative face validity, and the test-retest reliability. Content validity of the VRPS was assessed by Speech and Language Pathologists who are experts in the assessment and treatment of voice patients and laryngologist. The reliability of the scale was determined using test-retest reliability.


      Based on the interviews with PWVDs and experts, and a thorough review of the related literature, a self-reported scale with 11 items and three sections was developed. The three items included ear, temporomandibular joint, and shoulder all of which were divided into right and left pairs based on the experts’ suggestion. One item was eliminated because it had a content validity ratio less than 0.62. The content validity index (CVIs) for all the remaining items were higher than 0.79 and the scale content validity index was equal to 0.93. The test-retest reliability was satisfactory with weighted kappa ranging from 0.64 to 1 for VRPS items. The final version of the VRPS comprised of 13 items related to the pain location in the human body. Each of these items has three sections: frequency of pain, severity of pain, and time of pain occurrence.


      The present study indicated that VRPS is a valid and reliable tool to evaluate pain in PWVDs. The VRPS is a useful tool for clinical and research purposes. However, more studies are needed in this regard for further evaluation of the VRPS.

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