Chronic eye pain, which has previously been assumed to be due to ocular surface abnormalities (ie, "dry eye [DE] disease"), has recently garnered attention as a potential indicator of neuropathic ocular pain in some patients. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of a modified version of the Neuropathic Pain Symptom Inventory in individuals with eye pain (NPSI-Eye). Enrolled participants (n = 397) completed the NPSI-Eye, general pain severity questionnaires, DE symptom report, and psychological health indices. Participants also underwent mechanical pain sensitivity testing of the cornea, tear film assessment, and evaluation of the efficacy of anesthetic eye drops to relieve pain. Short-term test-retest reliability of the NPSI-Eye was excellent (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.98, P < 0.001). Correlations between the NPSI-Eye and indicators of general eye pain were ≥0.65 (P < 0.001), whereas correlations between the NPSI-Eye and DE symptom severity and psychological health indices were lower (rho = 0.56, 0.32, 0.37; all P < 0.001). Individuals who reported little or no decrease in pain after anesthetic eye drops (hypothesized to indicate eye pain with at least partial central involvement) had significantly higher NPSI-Eye scores than participants whose eye pain was completely relieved by anesthetic (P < 0.05). Overall, our results support preliminary validation of the NPSI-Eye, yielding similar metrics to those reported in Bouhassira et al.'s original NPSI publication (2004). However, additional evaluation and refinement of some questions may be desirable, including the potential elimination of items that were not highly endorsed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine