Evaluation of GERD Symptoms during Therapy. Part I
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BACKGROUND/AIMS: The changes in gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)-related symptoms on treatment are variously described, but currently available questionnaires have shortcomings. We therefore developed a self-assessment reflux questionnaire (ReQuest). This article describes the process of development and testing. MATERIALS AND METHODS: For the first version of ReQuest the symptom spectrum of GERD and the various symptom descriptions were investigated. The 67 identified symptom descriptions were condensed empirically into 6 dimensions, to which a 7th dimension on general well-being was added. The symptom burden of the dimensions was measured by frequency and/or intensity. ReQuest was translated into different languages and then tested in focus groups. The initial validation was based on data from a clinical trial of patients with erosive GERD, treated with pantoprazole 20 or 40 mg daily for 28 days. Factor analyses determined the contribution of each symptom to the different dimensions. Additionally, correlation analyses between the identified factors and the dimensions were performed. RESULTS: On the basis of factor analyses, ReQuest was reduced to a 60-item scale. The factors generated correlated strongly with the dimensions and confirmed the empirical process mathematically. CONCLUSION: ReQuest provides a valuable, self-assessment tool for evaluating the daily treatment response in patients with erosive GERD.
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