The content validation of the Self-Reported Misuse, Abuse and Diversion of Prescription Opioids (SR-MAD) instrument for use in patients with acute or chronic pain [2017]

Background: Establishing content validity is an essential component of instrument development.

Objective: To assess the content validity and patient interpretation of the Self-Reported Misuse, Abuse and Diversion of Prescription Opioids (SR-MAD) instrument.

Methods: A cross-sectional, qualitative study was conducted in patients with chronic or acute pain. Patients were recruited from three patient groups (opioid naïve, known opioid abusers, and chronic opioid non-abusers). After patients completed the SR-MAD, they participated in an in-person cognitive interview to assess the patient’s understanding of the instrument. Descriptive statistics and content analysis were performed.

Results: Fifty-seven patients (Wave 1: 20; Wave 2: 37) were enrolled and completed the SR-MAD and cognitive interview. Mean age was 54.5 ± 13.7 years (range 25–84) with 12.5 years of living with pain. The most common chronic pain conditions were back pain (68%), neck pain (32%), and osteoarthritis (25%). Overall, most patients understood the meaning of each question and were able to describe each item using their own words. Many patients reported that some questions were not applicable to them but understood the meaning of the questions as well as the need to ask questions about misuse, abuse, and diversion of opioid medications. Minor revisions to the SR-MAD wording, response options, recall period, and the definition of “opioid”, were recommended by the patients in both waves.

Limitations: Given its qualitative design, this study has a small sample size. Additionally, quantitative validation of the SR-MAD is needed.

Conclusion: The SR-MAD, developed based on expert consensus and revised with patient input, is a 15-item self-report instrument that can be used to identify and monitor prescription opioid abuse, misuse, and diversion.

Beatrice Setnik, Carl L. Roland, Alexandra I. Barsdorf, Anne Brooks & Karin S. Coyne

Current Medical Research and Opinion, Volume 33, 2017 – Issue 6