Quality of Life Research

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 331–343 | Cite as

The development of a new measure of quality of life in the management of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease: the Reflux questionnaire

  • Susan MacranEmail author
  • Samantha Wileman
  • Garry Barton
  • Ian Russell
  • for the REFLUX trial group



This paper reports on the development of a new measure of health-related quality of life for use among patients with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), funded as part of the REFLUX trial. This is a large UK multi centre trial that aims to compare the clinical and cost effectiveness of minimal access surgery with best medical treatment for patients with GORD within the NHS.


Potential items were identified via a series of interviews and focus groups carried out with patients who were receiving/had received medical or surgical treatment for GORD. The final measure consisted of 31 items covering 7 categories (Heartburn; Acid reflux; Wind; Eating and swallowing; Bowel movements; Sleep; Work, physical and social activities). The measure produced two outputs: a quality of life score (RQLS) and five Reflux symptom scores. Reliability (internal consistency), criterion validity with the SF-36 and, sensitivity to change in terms of relationship with reported change in prescribed medication were assessed amongst a sample of 794 patients recruited into the trial.


The measure was shown to be internally consistent, to show criterion validity with the SF-36 and sensitive to changes in patients use of prescribed medication at baseline and 3 month follow-up.


The Reflux questionnaire is a new self-administered questionnaire for use amongst patients with GORD. Initial findings suggest that the new measure is valid, reliable, acceptable to respondents and simple to administer in both a clinical and research context.


Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease Quality of life Scale development 


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We thank the NHS R&D Health Technology Assessment programme for grant support of the Reflux Trial. We also thank all who took part in this study and gave generously of their time and views. The Health Services Research Unit is funded by the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Executive Department of Health. The views expressed are the authors’, not necessarily the funders’.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan Macran
    • 1
    Email author
  • Samantha Wileman
    • 2
  • Garry Barton
    • 3
  • Ian Russell
    • 4
  • for the REFLUX trial group
    • 1
  1. 1.Outcomes Research Group, Centre for Health EconomicsUniversity of YorkHeslington, YorkUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Health Services Research Unit, University of AberdeenAberdeenUK
  3. 3.School of Economics, University of NottinghamNottinghamUK
  4. 4.Institute of Medical & Social Care ResearchUniversity of WalesBangorUK

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