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Validation of a quality of life questionnaire for critically ill patients

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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.

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This study forms part of the PAEEC (Project for the Epidemiological Analysis of Critical Care Patients), and was supported by a grant from the “Fondo de Investigaciones Sanitarias” (F.I.S.-91/0703), and by the Granada University Research Group (Number 3244)

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Fernandez, R.R., Sanchez Cruz, J.J. & Mata, G.V. Validation of a quality of life questionnaire for critically ill patients. Intensive Care Med 22, 1034–1042 (1996).

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