The experience of cognitive intrusion of pain: scale development and validation

Nina Attridge, Geert Crombez, Dimitri Van Ryckeghem, Edmund Keogh, Christopher Eccleston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Patients with chronic pain often report their cognition to be impaired by pain, and this observation has been supported by numerous studies measuring the effects of pain on cognitive task performance. Furthermore, cognitive intrusion by pain has been identified as one of 3 components of pain anxiety, alongside general distress and fear of pain. Although cognitive intrusion is a critical characteristic of pain, no specific measure designed to capture its effects exists. In 3 studies, we describe the initial development and validation of a new measure of pain interruption: the Experience of Cognitive Intrusion of Pain (ECIP) scale. In study 1, the ECIP scale was administered to a general population sample to assess its structure and construct validity. In study 2, the factor structure of the ECIP scale was confirmed in a large general population sample experiencing no pain, acute pain, or chronic pain. In study 3, we examined the predictive value of the ECIP scale in pain-related disability in fibromyalgia patients. The ECIP scale scores followed a normal distribution with good variance in a general population sample. The scale had high internal reliability and a clear 1-component structure. It differentiated between chronic pain and control groups, and it was a significant predictor of pain-related disability over and above pain intensity. Repairing attentional interruption from pain may become a novel target for pain management interventions, both pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1978-1990
Number of pages13
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'The experience of cognitive intrusion of pain: scale development and validation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this