Development of a Questionnaire to Measure Quality of Life in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome
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OBJECTIVE: To develop a questionnaire for measuring health-related quality of life (HRQL) in patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). METHODS: We surveyed the existing literature, and interviewed patients and clinicians, to develop a list of 182 potential problems for IBS patients. One hundred patients with IBS completed a questionnaire in which they told us whether each of the 182 items was a problem for them, and if so the magnitude of their importance in their lives. RESULTS: Patients identified four major problem areas: bowel symptoms, fatigue, activity limitations, and emotional dysfunction. On the basis of these findings, we constructed a 26-item questionnaire which, in pre-testing, 16 patients found clear and easy to complete. CONCLUSION: We have developed a questionnaire that measures HRQL in IBS patients and is suitable for use as an outcome measure in clinical trials in IBS.
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