Context: Valid instruments for assessing spiritual resources and distress in pain therapy are scarce. The Spiritual Distress and Resources Questionnaire (SDRQ) was developed to fill this gap.
Goals: The objective of this study was to investigate the SDRQ's psychometric properties.
Methods: We presented the SDRQ to 219 patients with chronic pain conditions and examined its measurement properties, namely reliability and structural, convergent and discriminant validity. To investigate test–retest reliability, the SDRQ was presented a second time to a subsample of 58 randomly selected participants.
Results: Factor analysis required a grouping of the 22 SDRQ items into four subscales: spiritual distress, spiritual coping, immanence and transcendence, the latter two representing spiritual resources. Cronbach's alpha was high for spiritual distress (0.93), transcendence (0.85), and immanence (0.81) while it was somewhat lower but still satisfactory for spiritual coping (0.70). The construct validity of the SDRQ was shown by correlations with established measures in the field. Higher levels of spiritual distress were associated with signs of more severe illness, such as emotional distress and pain intensity.
Conclusion: The results from this study suggest that the SDRQ is an easy-to-use, reliable and valid screening instrument for assessing spiritual distress, spiritual resources and spiritual coping in patients with chronic pain. The SDRQ has the potential to be used with patients suffering from other chronic diseases and to disseminate the palliative approach to pain treatment to other areas of medicine.