Validation of the italian version of the UNESP-botucatu multidimensional composite pain scale for the assessment of postoperative pain in cats
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The study described in this paper had the goal to validate the Italian version of the UNESP-Botucatu multidimensional composite pain scale (UNESP-Botucatu MCPS) to assess postoperative pain in cats using video analysis and psycometric testing. The English version of the scale was translated into Italian. Thirty videos of the perioperative period of ovariohysterectomy surgery were analysed by 5 Italian observers with the aim to determine the pain score using the Italian version of the scale and to verify the need for analgesic treatment for each cat. Obtained scores were submitted to psycometric validity, responsiveness, and reliability tests. Of the 3 domains identified by factor analysis, the internal consistency was excellent for ‘Psychomotor changes’ and ‘Protection of the painful area and vocal expressions of pain’, while ‘Physiological variables’ showed moderate internal consistency. Significant changes in pain scores in response to surgery and analgesics confirmed content and construct validity. The agreement between the ‘gold standard’ and the blinded observers supported the criterion validity. Inter- and intra-rater reliability ranged from good to very good for all scale items. The cut-off point for rescue analgesia was > 7. The study concluded that the Italian version of the UNESP-Botucatu MCPS is a valid and reliable instrument for assessing postoperative pain in cats. The cut-off point for rescue analgesia provides an additional tool for guiding analgesic therapy.