Haher, Thomas R. MD*; Gorup, John M. MD†; Shin, Tae M. MD†; Homel, Peter PhD‡; Merola, Andrew A. MD†; Grogan, Dennis P. MD§; Pugh, Linda RN§; Lowe, Thomas G. MD∥; Murray, Michael MD*
Study Design. An outcome questionnaire was constructed to evaluate patient satisfaction and performance and to discriminate among patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.
Objectives. To determine reliability and validity in a new quality-of-life instrument for measuring progress among scoliosis patients.
Summary of Background Data. Meta-analysis of the surgical treatment of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis determined that a uniform assessment of outcome did not exist. In addition, patient measures of well-being as opposed to process measures (e.g., radiographs) were not consistently reported. This established the need for a standardized questionnaire to assess patient measures in conjunction with process measures.
Methods. The instrument consists of 24 questions divided into seven equally weighted domains as determined by factor analysis: pain, general self-image, postoperative self-image, general function, overall level of activity, postoperative function, and satisfaction. The questionnaire takes approximately 5 minutes to complete and is taken at predetermined time intervals. A total of 244 of patients from three different sites responded to the questionnaire.
Results. The reliability based on internal consistency was confirmed with a Cronbach’s alpha coefficient greater than 0.6 for each domain. In addition, acceptable correlation coefficient values greater than 0.68 were obtained for each domain by the test-retest method on normal controls. Similarly, to establish validity of the questionnaire, responses of normal high school students were compared with that of the patients. Consistent differences were noted in the domains between the two groups with P < 0.003. The largest differences were in pain (control, 29.96 ± 0.20; patient, 13.23 ± 5.55) and general level of activity (control, 14.96 ± 0.20; patient, 12.16 ± 3.23). Examination of the relationship between the domains and patient satisfaction showed that pain correlates with satisfaction to the greatest degree (Pearson’s correlation coefficient, r = −0.511; P < 0.001), followed by self-image(r = 0.412; P < 0.001).
Conclusions. This questionnaire addresses patient measures for evaluation of outcome in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis surgery by examining several domains. It also allows for dynamic monitoring of scoliosis patients as they become adults. This is a validated instrument with good reliability measures.
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Spine: 15 July 1999 – Volume 24 – Issue 14 – p 1435