Pain Disability Index (PDI)

The Pain Disability Index is a tool used for measuring the degree of pain a patient is experiencing. The test is a self-report asking patients to rate how much pain interferes in seven areas of life activity: family/home, recreation, social, occupation, sexual, self-care, life-support, and average. Participants use a 0 (no disability) to 10 (total disability) numeric rating scale. Approximately 5 minutes is required to administer the test.


Tait, Chibnall, & Krause, 1990

Reliability and Validity

Evaluation strongly supports the use and reliability of the Pain Disability Index; however, issues dealing with bias and influence on reports have been investigated. Patients had sometimes untruthfully reported their pain to increase their disability. The test-rest reliability of the PDI was .44 and the internal consistency was 0.86 (Cronbach alpha rating), according to studies by Tait, Chibnall, and Krause (1990) using a sample of 444 patients with chronic pain.

Administration, Analysis and Reporting

Statistics Solutions consists of a team of professional methodologists and statisticians that can assist the student or professional researcher in administering the survey instrument, collecting the data, conducting the analyses and explaining the results.

For additional information on these services, click here.


Chibnall, J. T., & Tait, R. C. (1994). The Pain Disability Index: Factor structure and normative data. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 75, 1082-1086.

Ehde, D. M., Jensen, M. P., Engel, J. M., Joyce, M., Turner, J. A. Hoffman, A. J., & Cardenas, D. D. (2003). Chronic pain secondary to disability: A review. Clinical Journal of Pain, 19(1), 3-17.

Pollard, C. A. (1984). Preliminary validity study of the Pain Disability Index. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 59, 974.

Tait, R. C., Chibnall, J. T., Krause, S. (1990). The pain disability index: Psychometric properties. Pain, 40, 171-182.

Dissertations and Journals

Roach, E. K. (1990). Development of a shoulder pain and disability index.

Ross, M. M. (2009). Elderly recipients of home nursing services: Pain, disability and functional competence (University of Ottawa).

Goldberg, T. R. (1999). Relationship between traumatic events in childhood and chronic pain.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This