Family Pain Questionnaire (FPQ)


Chronic pain is recognized as a significant barrier to wellbeing in those suffering from cancer. The family has also been highlighted as playing a crucial role in helping patients deal with their pain. The Family Pain Questionnaire (FPQ) is intended to shed some light on the family caregivers experience and knowledge of pain. This information can be used in conjunction with the Patient Pain Questionnaire (PPQ) to gain a clearer understanding of how perceptions of pain by patient and caregiver interact and/or even predict adjustment to pain. The questionnaire can be used in clinical practice or research.


The psychometric properties of the Family Pain Questionnaire (FPQ) are discussed in Ferrell, B. R., Rhiner, M., & Rivera, L. M. (1993) and also briefly in the introduction to the Instrument attached below.

Author of Tool:

Ferrell, B. R., Rhiner, M., Rivera, L. M.

Key references:

Ferrell, B. R., Rhiner, M., Rivera, L. M. (1993). Development and Evaluation of the Family Pain Questionnaire. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 10(4):21-35.

Ferrell, B. R, Ferrell, B., Rhiner, M., Grant, M. (1991). Family Factors Influencing Cancer Pain. Post Graduate Medical Journal, 67 (Suppl 2), 64-69.

Ferrell, B. R., Rhiner, M., Shapiro, B., Strause, L. (1994). The Family Experience of Cancer Pain Management in Children. Cancer Practice, 2(6), 441-446.

Primary use / Purpose:

The Family Pain Questionnaire (FPQ) is a 16-item ordinal inventory. Its purpose is to measure the knowledge and experience of pain in family caregivers treating chronic cancer pain.

Family Pain Questionnaire

 Dear Colleague,

The Family Pain Questionnaire (FPQ) is a sixteen item ordinal scale that measures the Knowledge and Experience of a family caregiver in managing chronic cancer pain. This tool can be useful in clinical practice as well as for research. This instrument can be administered by mail or in person.

Directions: The caregiver is asked to read each question thoroughly and decide if he/she agrees with the statement or disagrees. The caregiver is then asked to circle a number to indicate the degree to which he/she agrees or disagrees with the statement according to the word anchors on each end of the scale.

The FPQ includes 9 items that measure knowledge about pain and 7 items that measure the caregivers experience with pain. All of the items have been formatted such that 0 = the most positive outcome and 10 = the most negative outcome. We have found it most helpful to analyze the data by focusing on the subscales as well as the individual items as each item has important implications.

You are welcome to use this instrument in your research/clinical practice to gain information about caregiver knowledge and experience to formulate or evaluate pain management programs. You have permission to duplicate this tool.

This tool is used in conjunction with a version created for use by patients, the Patient Pain Questionnaire (PPQ). The FPQ tool has been tested with established reliability (test retest, internal consistency) and validity (content, construct, concurrent). A series of psychometric analyses were performed on the instrument including content validity (CVI = .90), construct validity (ANOVA, p.<.05), concurrent validity (r = .60, p.<.05), factor analysis and test-retest reliability (r = .80) established with a retest of caregivers (N=67).

Good luck with your research!! Sincerely,

Betty R. Ferrell PhD, FAAN Research Scientist


Ferrell BR, Ferrell B, Rhiner M, Grant “Family Factors Influencing Cancer Pain”. Post Graduate Medical Journal, 1991, 67 (Suppl 2):S64-S69.

Ferrell BR, Rhiner M, Cohen M, Grant M. “Pain as a Metaphor for Illness. Part I: Impact of Cancer Pain on Family ” Oncology Nursing Forum, 1991; 18(8):1303-1309.

Ferrell BR, Cohen M, Rhiner M, Rozak “Pain as a Metaphor for Illness. Part II: Family Caregivers’ Management of Pain.” Oncology Nursing Forum, 1991; 18(8):1315-1321.

Ferrell BR, Rhiner M, Rivera “Development and Evaluation of the Family Pain Questionnaire.” Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 1993; 10(4):21-35.

Ferrell BR, Ferrell B, Chan J, Ahn C. “The Impact of Cancer Pain Education on Family Caregivers of Elderly ” Oncology Nursing Forum, 1995; 22(8):1211-1218.

Ferrell BR, Rhiner M, Shapiro B, Strause “The Family Experience of Cancer Pain Management in Children.” Cancer Practice, 1994; 2(6):441-446.

Ferrell BR, Grant M, Borneman T, Juarez G, ter Veer “Family Caregiving in Cancer Pain Management.” Journal of Palliative Medicine, 1999; 2(2):185-195.

Family Pain Questionnaire (F.P.Q.)


Below are a number of statements about cancer pain and pain relief. Please circle a number on the line to indicate your response.

disagree      0          1       2         3         4         5         6       7       8       9        10     agree


  1. Cancer pain can be effectively
  2. Pain medicines should be given only when pain is
  1. Most cancer patients on pain medicines will become addicted to the medicines over
  2. It is important to give the lowest amount of medicine possible to save larger doses for later when the pain is
  3. It is better to give pain medications around the clock (on a schedule) rather than only when
  4. Treatments other than medications (such as massage, heat, relaxation) can be effective for relieving
  5. Pain medicines can be dangerous and can often interfere with
  6. Patients are often given too much pain
  7. If pain is worse, the cancer must be getting


no pain        0          1       2         3         4         5         6       7       8       9        10     a great deal

  1. Over the past week, how much pain do you feel your family member has had?
  1. How much pain is your family member having now?
  1. How much pain relief is your family member currently receiving?
  1. How distressing do you think the pain is to your family member?
  1. How distressing is your family members’ pain to you?
  1. To what extent do you feel you are able to control the patient’s pain?
  1. What do you expect will happen with your family member’s pain in the future?
will get 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 will get
better worse

Cuestionario Sobre el Dolor Para la Familia (siglas en ingles: F.P.Q.)


A continuacion se encuentran un numero de afirmaciones el dolor ocasionado por el cancer y su alivio. Favor de marcar uno de los numeros en el renglon con un circulo para indicar su respuesta.


estoy de acuerdo         0          1       2         3         4         5         6       7       8       9        10     no estoy de acuerdo


  1. El dolor del cancer puede aliviarse
  1. Las medicinas para aliviar el dolor se deben de dar unicamente cuando el dolor sea
  1. La mayoria de los pacientes con cancer que toman medicamentos para aliviar el dolor a la larga quedaran adictos a los
  1. Es importante dar la menor cantidad posible de la medicina con fines de guardar las dosis mas altas para cuando empeore el dolor en un
  1. Es preferible dar los medicamentos para alivar el dolor a base continua (segun un horario) en vez de solo cuando estos sean
  1. Otros tratamientos ademas de los medicamentos (tales como masajes, tratamientos de calor, relajacion pueden ser eficaces para alivar el
  1. Los medicamentos contra el dolor pueden ser peligrosos y con frecuencia pueden interferir con la
  1. A los pacientes con frequencia les dan demasiados medicamentos para aliviar el
  1. Si el dolor empeora, el cancer debera estar
  1. Durante esta ultima semana, cuanto dolor ha tenido su pariente?
  1. Cuanto dolor esta sufriendo/sintiendo su pariente en la actualidad?
  1. Cuanto alivio al dolor esta recibiendo su pariente en la actualidad?
  1. Cuanta afliccion/angustia piensa usted que le causa a su pariente el dolor que tiene?
  1. Cuanta afliccion/angustia le causa a usted el dolor que tiene su pariente?
  1. Hasta que punto estima usted que puede controlar el dolor de su pariente?
  1. Que piensa usted pasara con el dolor de su pariente en un futuro?