Pain is a common symptom in people with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), but it is assessed and reported inconsistently in research, and the validity of the measures remain uncertain. The aim of this study was to identify the characteristics, content, and psychometric properties of measures for pain used in ADPKD. We conducted a systematic review including all trials and observational studies that reported pain in people with ADPKD. Items from all measures were categorized into content and measurement dimensions of pain. We assessed the general characteristics and psychometric properties of all measures. 118 studies, we identified 26 measures: 12 (46%) measures were developed for a non-ADPKD population, 1 (4%) for chronic kidney disease, 2 (8%) for polycystic liver disease and 11 (42%) specifically for ADPKD. Ten anatomical sites were included, with the lower back the most common (10 measures [39%]), four measurement dimensions (intensity (23 [88%]), frequency (3 [12%]), temporality (2 [8%]), and sensory (21 [81%]), two pain types, nociceptive including visceral (15 [58%]) and somatic (5 [20%]), and neuropathic (2 [8%]), and twelve impact dimensions, where the most frequent was work (5 [31%]). The validation data for the measures were variable and only the ADPKD Impact Scale reported all psychometric domains. The measures for pain in ADPKD varied in terms of content and length, and most had not been validated in ADPKD. A standardized psychometrically robust measure that captures patient-important dimensions of pain is needed to evaluate and manage this debilitating complication of ADPKD.
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