Validation of the Portuguese version of the Lithium Attitudes Questionnaire (LAQ) in bipolar patients treated with lithium: cross-over study.
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BACKGROUND: Poor adherence to lithium is very common in bipolar patients and it is a frequent cause of recurrence during prophylactic treatment. Several reports suggest that attitudes of bipolar patients interfere with adherence to lithium. The Lithium Attitudes Questionnaire (LAQ) is a brief questionnaire developed as a means of identifying and grouping the problems patients commonly have with taking lithium regularly. The original version is validated in patients, but a validated version in Portuguese is not yet available. METHODS: One-hundred six patients with bipolar disorder (DSM-IV criteria) criteria under lithium treatment for at least one month were assessed using LAQ. LAQ is a brief questionnaire administered under interview conditions, which includes 19 items rating attitudes towards prophylactic lithium treatment. We analysed the internal consistency, concurrent validity, sensitivity and specificity of the Portuguese version of LAQ. RESULTS: The internal consistency, evaluated by Cronbach's alpha was 0.78. The mean total LAQ score was 4.1. Concurrent validity was confirmed by a negative correlation between plasma lithium concentration and total LAQ score (r = -0,198; p = 0.048). We analysed the scale's discriminative capacity revealing a sensitivity of 69% and a specificity of 71% in the identification of negative attitudes of bipolar patients. CONCLUSION: The psychometric assessment of the Portuguese version of LAQ showed good internal consistency, sensitivity and specificity. The results were similar to the original version in relation to attitudes of bipolar patients towards lithium therapy.
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