Objective: The purpose of this study was to translate, cross-culturally adapt to Brazilian Portuguese, and analyze the measurement properties of the Consultation and Relational Empathy (CARE) Measure and investigate whether empathy can be a predictor of clinical improvement.
Methods: This psychometric study was divided into 2 stages: the cross-cultural adaptation process included 30 patients, and the evaluation of the measurement properties included 106 patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain. After the third therapy session with the same physical therapist, the following questionnaires were applied to assess internal consistency, construct validity, and ceiling and floor effects: Pain Numerical Rating Scale, Brazilian Portuguese version of the CARE Measure (CARE-Br), MedRisk Instrument for Measuring Patient Satisfaction with Physical Therapy Care, and Global Perceived Effect Scale. To assess reliability and measurement error, the CARE-Br was answered 48 hours later. For prediction analysis of the CARE-Br in relation to clinical improvement, the participants answered the Pain Numerical Rating Scale and Global Perceived Effect Scale 2 months after baseline.
Results: The internal consistency was adequate (Cronbach’s ɑ = 0.88), reliability was substantial (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.77), measurement error was good (standard error of the measurement = 5.16%), and a moderate correlation was found with the MedRisk Instrument for Measuring Patient Satisfaction with Physical Therapy Care (r = 0.50). A ceiling effect was also found (39.6% of participants). Empathy was not considered a predictor of clinical improvement.
Conclusion: The Brazilian Portuguese version of the CARE Measure is reliable, adequate, and applicable in clinical settings and research in Brazil. However, it is not capable of predicting clinical improvement in patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain.
Author keywords: Empathy; Chronic Pain; Surveys and Questionnaires
Author affiliations: Master's and Doctoral Program in Physical Therapy, Universidade Cidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
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