Quality of Life Concepts

Secondary Health Conditions

Profile of Mood States (POMS)

Description: A measure of mood states[1].

Format: 65 items measuring 6 mood states: tension, depression, anger, vigour, fatigue, and confusion. Items are rated on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 0 (not at all) to 4 (extremely).

Scoring: Total mood disturbance is calculated by subtracting the Vigor subscale score from the sum of the Tension, Depression, Anger, Fatigue, and Confusion subscale scores. Total scores can range from 0 to 200.

Administration and Burden: Interviewer-administered; Self-administered. Approximately 5-10 minutes.

Psychometrics for SCI: Not available.

Languages: English, Japanese, Arabic.

QoL Construct: The POMS is a measure of Subjective Well-Being, which corresponds to Box E (subjective evaluations and reactions; affect) of Dijker’s Model.

Permissions/Where to Obtain: Copyrighted; The POMS can be purchased at the MHS website at: www.mhs.com.


  1. McNair DM, Lorr M, Droppleman LF. EdITS manual for the Profile of Mood States. San Diego: CA: EdITS Educational & Industrial Testing Service; 1992.


Pain SCI Studies: One pre-post intervention study, three cross-sectional surveys.

  1. Martin Ginis KA, Latimer AE. The effects of single bouts of body-weight supported treadmill training on the feeling states of people with spinal cord injury. Spinal Cord 2007;45:112-5.

  2. Wollaars MM, Post MWM, van Asbeck FWA, Brand N. Spinal cord injury pain: The influence of psychologic factors and impact on quality of life. Clin J Pain 2007;23:383-91.

  3. Summers JD, Rapoff MA, Varghese G, Porter K, Palmer RE. Psychosocial factors in chronic spinal cord injury pain. Pain 1991;47:183-9.

  4. Wardell DW, Rintala DH, Duan Z, Tan G. A pilot study of healing touch and progressive relaxation for chronic neuropathic pain in persons with spinal cord injury. J Holist Nursing 2006;24:231-40.

Sensitivity to Impact: Martin Ginis and Latimer (2007) used the Profile of Mood States (POMS), the Feeling Scale (FS) and the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) to assess whether exercise-related changes in feeling states were related to exercise-related changes in pain an in-task pain in persons with spinal cord injury (SCI; N = 14). Participants who experienced the greatest reduction in pain also experienced the greatest improvements on the POMS and FS. In addition, pain experienced during exercise appeared to be unrelated to changes in feeling states.

Wollaars and colleagues (2007) examined (1) chronic pain prevalence in a SCI population (N = 279), (2) the influence of psychological factors on SCI pain and (3) the impact of SCI pain on quality of life (QoL). Outcome measures included the Chronic Pain Grade Scale (CPGS), the POMS, the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), and a non-standardized study-specific questionnaire. In general, more pain was associated with higher pain-related disability. Pain intensity did not show an independent relationship with health, well-being, and depression in the regression analyses. Respondents with chronic SCI-related pain received higher scores on pain-related disability, and lower scores on general health and well-being. Less helplessness and catastrophizing, greater acceptance of SCI and lower levels of anger made the largest unique contributions to the prediction of greater well-being.

Summers and colleagues (1991) used the Multidimensional Pain Inventory (MPI), the POMS, and the Spinal Cord Injury Interference Scale (SCIIS) to determine the psychosocial factors associated with pain in patients with SCI (N = 54). There was a significant correlation between POMS/Anger-hostility and POMS/Vigor with MPI Pain Severity. The emotional variables (anger, vigor, depression, and anxiety) had a significant effect on both SCI interference and pain interference.

Wardell and colleagues (2006) used the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) to assess the role of Healing Touch (HT) in modulating chronic neuropathic pain in males with SCI (N= 12). Participants were assigned either to an HT group or a guided progressive relaxation group. There was a significant difference in the composite of interference scale of the BPI, with the HT group reporting less interference. Life satisfaction increased in the HT group, but not in the control group.

Suggestions for Use: Given the mixed results obtained in the literature, more research is warranted on the construct of affect and SCI-related pain using the POMS to establish its psychometric properties and clinical applicability.

0 READER COMMENTS  [post comment]