Tampa Scale

International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC)

Tampa Scale

The Tampa Scale of Kinesiophobia was created as a 17-item self-report checklist with a 4-point Likert scale to assess one’s fear of movement or (re)injury.

“An unreasonable, and debilitating fear of physical movement and activity stemming from a sensation of susceptibility to painful injury or re-injury,” is how the creators of the term kinesiophobia characterize it (Kori et al.,1990).

Two subscales make up the scale:

  • Avoiding physical exertion because of fear of (re)injury or worsening of pain (Questions 1, 2, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12)
  • Somatic Focus is the idea that there are underlying, major medical issues (Questions 3, 4, 5, 6, 8)

The scale is based on a model of four types of dread: fear of movement, fear of moving while at work, and fear of getting hurt again (Vlaeyen et al. 1995). Additionally, features of catastrophic thinking have been connected to the TSK (Burwinkle et al. 2005). When measuring problematic attitudes and ideas about pain in those with chronic pain or fibromyalgia, the scale can be helpful.

A shortened 11-item version of the questionnaire is available as well.


Validity and Reliability

In a validation study with people who had chronic low back pain (CLBP) and fibromyalgia patients, Roelofs et al. (2004) used confirmatory factor analysis to validate the two-factor model of the Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia (TSK).

Also looked at were the TSK subscales’ construct and predictive validity. Results made it very evident that a two-factor model best explained both pain samples. Moderate correlation coefficients between the TSK and its subscales and self-report measures of pain-related dread, pain catastrophizing, and disability, mostly in patients with CLBP, supported the scales’ construct validity. Moderate correlation coefficients between performance on physical performance tests (i.e., lifting tasks, biking tasks) and predictive validity were found, mostly in CLBP patients.


Scoring and Interpretation

A total raw score (which can be between 17 and 68) and two subscale scores make up the results.

Action Avoidance represents the perception that activity may lead to (re)injury or worse discomfort.

Somatic Focus represents the idea that there are underlying, major medical issues.

Additionally, using information from Roelofs et al. (2004), scores are reported in percentile terms in comparison to individuals with chronic back pain (CBP Percentile) and fibromyalgia (FM Percentile) . Percentiles are helpful for placing the respondents’ score in context with respect to the normal replies received from particular categories. A percentile of 50, for instance, indicates that a person’s level of kinesiophobia is on par with that of people who also have fibromyalgia.

According to a cutoff score established by Vlaeyen (1995), a score of 37 or more is regarded to be a high score and is indicative of worse health outcomes. A high result on the TSK suggests a significant degree of kinesiophobia. It is advised to use the entire score (comprised of all 17 items), while practitioners may want to analyze the data using two subscales.

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