• Antonio I Cuesta-Vargas
  • Randy Neblett
  • Alessandro Chiarotto
  • Jeroen Kregel
  • Jo Nijs
  • C Paul van Wilgen
  • Laurent Pitance
  • Aleksandar Knezevic
  • Robert J Gatchel
  • Tom G Mayer
  • Carlotta Viti
  • Cristina Roldan-Jiménez
  • Marco Testa
  • Wolnei Caumo
  • Milica Jeremic-Knezevic
  • Juan V Luciano

Central sensitization (CS) involves the amplification of neural signaling within the central nervous system, which evokes pain hypersensitivity. The Central Sensitization Inventory (CSI) assesses 25 overlapping health-related symptom dimensions that have been reported to be associated with CS-related disorders. Previous studies have reported satisfactory test-retest reliability and internal consistency, but factor analyses have exhibited conflicting results in different language versions. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to thoroughly examine the dimensionality and reliability of the CSI, with pooled data from 1,987 individuals, collected in several countries. The principal component analysis suggested that 1 general factor of CS best described the structure. A subsequent confirmatory factor analysis revealed that a bifactor model, which accounted for the covariance among CSI items, with regard to 1 general factor and 4 orthogonal factors, fit the CSI structure better than the unidimensional and the 4-factor models. Additional analyses indicated substantial reliability for the general factor (ie, Cronbach α = .92; ω = .95; and ω hierarchical = .89). Reliability results for the 4 specific factors were considered too low to be used for subscales. The results of this study clearly suggest that only total CSI scores should be used and reported.

PERSPECTIVE: As far as we know, this is the first study that has examined the factor structure and reliability of the CSI in a large multicountry sample. The CSI is currently considered the leading self-report measure of CS-related symptoms worldwide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-329
Number of pages13
JournalThe Journal of Pain
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018

    Research areas

  • central sensitivity syndrome, chronic pain, psychometrics, central sensitization, Central Sensitization Inventory, multicountry sample

ID: 36471460