Background: We performed a systematic review using Consensus Based Standards for the Selection of Health Measurement Instruments (COSMIN) guidelines to identify the best available patient-reported outcome measure (PROM) of postpartum pain. Methods: This review follows COSMIN guidelines. We searched four databases with no date limiters, for previously identified validated PROMs used to assess postpartum pain. PROMs evaluating more than one author-defined domain of postpartum pain were assessed. We sought studies evaluating psychometric properties. An overall rating was then assigned based upon COSMIN analysis, and the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) approach was used to assess the level of evidence for psychometric properties of included PROMs. These assessments were used to make recommendations and identify the best PROM to assess postpartum pain. Results: We identified 19 studies using seven PROMs (involving 3511 women), which evaluated postpartum pain. All included studies evaluated ≥1 psychometric property of the included PROMs. An adequate number of pain domains was assessed by the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI), Short Form-BPI (SF-BPI), and McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ). The SF-BPI was the only PROM to demonstrate adequate content validity and at least a low-level of evidence for sufficient internal consistency, resulting in a Class A recommendation (the best performing instrument, recommended for use). Conclusion: SF-BPI is the best currently available PROM to assess postpartum pain. However, it fails to assess several important domains and only just met the criteria for a Class A recommendation. Future studies are warranted to develop, evaluate, and implement a new PROM designed to specifically assess postpartum pain.
- patient-reported outcome measure