Pain Interference Patterns EMA Measures

Measures for the EMA data collection were developed and vetted for clarity using talk aloud survey with representatives of the target population.  We asked 12 main questions at each measurement period, and asked to respond to a question about their sleep at the beginning of each day.  Measures were categorized as follows:


Location.  The first category includes choices for location from a list of 12 community locations.

Activities.  We derived 9 categories of daily activity and additional subcategories from the ICF Activities and Participation classifications.  Additional activities were added in response to feedback provided by CIL consumers input during original EMA measures development (Seekins, Ipsen & Arnold, 2007).

Measures of social contact.  Social contact is an important contextual aspect of participation that may relate to feelings of satisfaction and barriers to participation. Chapter 3 of the ICF Environmental Factors section also addresses support and relationships.  The EMA asks participants to identify who was involved in the activity with them (i.e. alone, family/friends, professionals, or others).

Satisfaction. We included a single item question to examine satisfaction with current activity on a 10 point rating scale.

Pain Intensity.  We collected data about pain use a common scale from 0 = no pain to 10 = as bad as it could be.

Measures of environmental barriers and facilitators. We asked which barriers, if any, affect their current activity in the areas of communication, environmental, equipment/personal assistance, accessibility, social attitudes, and transportation.

Subjective experience. We collected ratings of subjective experience including fatigue, depression stress and happiness.


Participants responded to six surveys per day, for 14 consecutive days between the hours of 9:00am and 9:00pm. Prompts were delivered randomly within 2-hour blocks throughout the day, to reduce participants’ ability to predict the timing surveys. Response options varied and included rating scales, forced choice and “select all that apply” options from lists of potential responses.