Quality of life instruments in studies of menorrhagia: a systematic review

Clark, T. Justin; Khan, Khalid S.; Foon, Richard; Pattison, Helen M.; Bryan, Stirling and Gupta, Janesh K. (2002). Quality of life instruments in studies of menorrhagia: a systematic review. European journal of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology, 104 (2), pp. 96-104.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The use of quality of life (QoL) instruments in menorrhagia research is increasing but there is concern that not enough emphasis is placed on patient-focus in these measurements, i.e. on issues which are of importance to patients and reflect their experiences and concerns (clinical face validity). The objective was to assess the quality of QoL instruments in studies of menorrhagia. STUDY DESIGN: A systematic review of published research. Papers were identified through MEDLINE (1966-April 2000), EMBASE (1980-April 2000), Science Citation Index (1981-April 2000), Social Science Citation Index (1981-April 2000), CINAHL (1982-1999) and PsychLIT (1966-1999), and by manual searching of bibliographies of known primary and review articles. Studies were selected if they assessed women with menorrhagia for life quality, either developing QoL instruments or applying them as an outcome measure. Selected studies were assessed for quality of their QoL instruments, using a 17 items checklist including 10 items for clinical face validity (issues of relevance to patients' expectations and concerns) and 7 items for measurement properties (such as reliability, responsiveness, etc.). RESULTS: A total of 19 articles, 8 on instrument development and 11 on application, were included in the review. The generic Short Form 36 Health Survey Questionnaire (SF36) was used in 12/19 (63%) studies. Only two studies developed new specific QoL instruments for menorrhagia but they complied with 7/17 (41%) and 10/17 (59%) of the quality criteria. Quality assessment showed that only 7/19 (37%) studies complied with more than half the criteria for face validity whereas 17/19 (90%) studies complied with more than half of the criteria for measurement properties (P = 0.0001). CONCLUSION: Among existing QoL instruments, there is good compliance with the quality criteria for measurement properties but not with those for clinical face validity. There is a need to develop methodologically sound disease specific QoL instruments in menorrhagia focussing both on face validity and measurement properties.

Uncontrolled Keywords: menorrhagia, quality of life, systematic review
Published Date: 2002

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