Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 22, Issue 10, pp 1034-1042

First online:

Validation of a quality of life questionnaire for critically ill patients

  • R. Rivera FernandezAffiliated withServicio de Medicina Intensiva, CRT Hospital Virgen de las Nieves
  • , J. J. Sanchez CruzAffiliated withEscuela Andaluza de Salud Pública
  • , G. Vazquez MataAffiliated withServicio de Medicina Intensiva, CRT Hospital Virgen de las Nieves

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Development and validation of quality of life questionnaire for critical care patients.


Prospective study.


Intensive care unit (ICU) of a general hospital and ICUs of 83 Spanish hospitals.


Patients admitted to the ICU>18 years of age; close family members.


A committee of experts designed a questionnaire with characteristics judged essential for intensive care use: easy, quick administration (5–10 min); capable of completion by patient or close family member, by direct or telephone interview. Fifteen items relevant to critical care patients were grouped in three subscales: basic physiological activities, normal daily activities, and emotional state. Reproducibility of interobserver, intraobserver, patient/family member and telephone/direct interviews was analysed and also internal consistency, responsiveness, and main components.


Internal consistency (578 patients): Cronbach's alpha coefficient=0.85. Reproducibility: intraobserver reproducibility (n=150): Spearman correlation coefficient=0.92. Interobserver (n=85); correlation=0.92. Patient/family member (n=81): correlation=0.92. Telephone/direct interview (n=54): correlation=0.96. Validity: factorial analysis confirmed that the three subscales were fundamental questionnaire components. There was good concordance between questionnaire/subscale and Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) results. Responsiveness: quality of life score changes between preadmission and 6 months' postdischarge correlated with GOS findings (weighted kappa index=0.56).


Questionnaire meets objectives recommended for critical care use, and fulfills essential requirements of validity and reproducibility when applied to critically ill patients.

Key words

Health status Intensive care Quality of life