PRISM: A brief screening tool to identify risk in parents of youth with chronic pain

Laura E. Simons, Amy Lewandowski Holley, Emily Phelps, Anna C. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Having a child with chronic pain impacts a parent's life. Reciprocally, parent cognitive, affective, and behavioral responses to the child's chronic pain can influence the child's pain experience. The purpose of this study is to develop a brief self-report screening tool (Parent Risk and Impact Screening Measure [PRISM]) of parent psychosocial functioning and behavioral responses to child pain. This measure assesses parents' reports of their own stress, health, psychosocial functioning, and disruption in activities due to their child's pain and related disability. In an effort to preliminarily validate this screening tool, we examined the PRISM in relation to existing measures of parent distress, parent behavior, and child functioning. An initial 30-item PRISM was administered to 229 parents of children with persistent pain. Parents also reported on distress, protectiveness, pain catastrophizing and family impact, and youth completed measures of pain, pain-related disability, and quality of life. Item refinement resulted in a final 12-item PRISM tool. The PRISM demonstrates strong internal consistency, and initial support for construct validity was shown by associations with parent distress, protectiveness, and catastrophizing. Results also revealed higher PRISM scores are associated with higher child pain intensity, greater functional disability, and poorer quality of life. Cutoff scores were determined to identify parents at differing levels of risk. The PRISM is a brief and clinically important means of screening parent distress and behaviors associated with child pain-related dysfunction. Further validation will use PRISM in longitudinal studies, particularly testing PRISM scores as a predictor of parent and child outcomes over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-374
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019


  • Adolescents
  • Children
  • Chronic pain
  • Parents
  • Questionnaire
  • Stepped care
  • Stratified care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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