The Chronic Overlapping Pain Condition Screener

J Pain. 2023 Aug 24:S1526-5900(23)00511-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2023.08.009.Online ahead of print.


Andrew Schrepf 1William Maixner 2Roger Fillingim 3Christin Veasley 4Richard Ohrbach 5Shad Smith 2David A Williams 1


Author information

1Department of Anesthesiology, Michigan Medicine, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

2Department of Anesthesiology, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina.

3Department of Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

4Chronic Pain Research Alliance, An Initiative of The TMJ Association, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

5Department of Oral Diagnostic Sciences, School of Dental Medicine, University of Buffalo, Buffalo, New York.


Ten Chronic Overlapping Pain Conditions (COPCs) are currently recognized by the National Institutes of Health Pain Consortium (eg, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic migraine headache, and chronic low back pain). These conditions affect millions of Americans; however, assessing these conditions, their co-occurrence, and their relationship to treatment has proven challenging due to time constraints and a lack of standardized measures. We present a Chronic Overlapping Pain Condition-Screener (COPC-S) that is logic-driven, efficient, and freely available in electronic format to nonprofit entities. Thirty experts were convened to identify and modify self-report criteria for each COPC as well as criteria that trigger the administration of the diagnostic criteria from a body map and a brief series of questions. Their recommendations were then programmed into the Research Electronic Data Capture platform and refined for comprehensibility and ease of use by patient focus groups. The electronic screener and physician-administered criteria were both administered to patients with known COPCs in a counter-balanced fashion to determine the level of agreement between methods. The expert panel identified screening items/body map regions and diagnostic criteria for all 10 COPCs. Patients found the content comprehensible and the platform easy to use. Cohen's Kappa statistics suggested good agreement between the electronic COPC-S and criteria administered by a physician (κ = .813). The COPC-S is an efficient tool for screening multiple COPCs and has applicability to research studies, clinical trials, and clinical practice. PERSPECTIVE: Assessing COPCs remains a challenge for researchers and clinicians. The COPC-S is an efficient and logic-driven electronic tool that allows for the rapid screening assessment of 10 COPCs. The instrument may have utility in research and clinical settings.

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