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What it measures:

PROMIS Pain Interference (PROMIS-PI) scale measures the extent to which pain hinders an individual's engagement with physical, mental, cognitive, emotional, recreational, and social activities. PROMIS-PI also includes items related to enjoyment in life and sleep.(1,2) PROMIS-PI scale can be administered 2 ways: computerized adaptive test (CAT) and short forms. Pain Interference short forms, which are the paper forms of the scale, are not disease-specific, and measure pain interference over the past 7 days.

Currently, there are several forms of PROMIS-PI instruments, both for the short forms and CAT. The different forms are available for a variety of populations, including adults (aged 18+ years), adults with cancer, pediatrics self-report (aged 8-17 years), and proxy reporters for their children (aged 5-17 years). Proxy reporters can be for children who are too young, cognitively impaired, or too ill to complete the form on their own. The form for adults diagnosed with cancer applies to any type of cancer. The PROMIS-PI scale has been modified and revised over time. It is recommended to use the most recent version, which is the one with the highest version number, for each of the 4 forms.(1)

ICF Domain(s):

  • Activity
  • Participation


Conditions & Test Variations Included in this Summary:

This summary contains information on use of all PROMIS-PI scales for patients or clients who are adults, adults with cancer, pediatrics self-report, and proxy reporters for their children. The version number and PROMIS-PI scale (CAT or short form) used in each study will be stated in this summary, if known.

Taskforce Recommendations:

  • A longitudinal study stated that "[PROMIS] pain interference has been recommended as a core outcome in clinical trials of pain treatments."(43)
  • Another longitudinal study stated that clinical practice guidelines for non–cancer-pain care recommend that measurements that go beyond pain intensity and restore the physical, mental, and social health of the person in pain. Furthermore, improvements in pain interference is a predominant factor used by health insurance payers in order to justify approval or denial of procedures and rehabilitation.(44)


Clinical Insights

PROMIS Pain Interference scale can be used for a variety of patient populations. This scale can help individuals determine to what level pain hinders their engagement in several activities including social, cognitive, physical, and recreational activities.(1) PROMIS-PI is simple to complete and should be used on individuals who complain of pain interfering with daily living.

There is an abundant amount of new evidence being published on PROMIS Pain Interference Scale.  Clinicians can use several databases to obtain this new evidence, but a universal and accessible database is PubMed. If the reader would like to research the most recent evidence, they can perform a search in the Advanced Search option in PubMed using the phrase below. The most recently published articles typically appear at the top of the list of results.

((PROMIS OR "Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System")) AND "Pain Interference"

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