Fear of movement in children and adolescents undergoing major surgery: A psychometric evaluation of the Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia.

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The objective of this study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of the 17-item Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia (TSK) in youth.Participants were 264 children and adolescents (58.7% female, Mage =14.1 years, SDage =2.51) scheduled for major surgery who were assessed before surgery, while in hospital postoperatively, and at 6 and 12 months after surgery. Exploratory factor analyses (EFA) were conducted to determine the factor structure of pre-operative TSK scores. Reliability, and convergent, discriminant, and predictive validity were examined.EFA on the 17-item TSK revealed a two-factor model distinguishing the 13 positively scored items from the 4 reverse scored items, but the fit was poor. A second EFA was conducted on the 13 positively scored items (TSK-13) revealing a three-factor model: Fear of injury, bodily vulnerability, and activity avoidance. The TSK-13 showed adequate internal consistency (Ω=0.82) and weak convergent validity. The TSK-13 was not correlated with postoperative, in-hospital physical activity (actigraphy; r (179) =-0.10, p=0.18) and showed adequate discriminant validity, that is correlations less than .70, with measures of depression (r(225)=0.41, p<0.001) and general anxiety (r(224)=0.35, p<0.001). Predictive validity for pain-related disability at 12 months (r(70)=0.34, p<0.001) was adequate.The original TSK-17 does not appear to be a meaningful measure of kinesiophobia in youth after surgery possibly because of the syntactic structure of the reverse scored items. In contrast, a modified TSK-13, comprised of only the positively scored items, revealed a 3-factor structure that is reliable and demonstrates adequate convergent, discriminant, and predictive validity.Kinesiophobia is an important construct to evaluate in the transition from acute to chronic pain among children and adolescents. The 17 item Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia (TSK) does not show adequate validity or reliability in youth undergoing major surgery, however, the psychometric properties of a 13-item modified scale (TSK-13) are promising.

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