Validity, cut-points, and minimally important differences for two hot flash-related daily interference scales

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Objectives:To conduct psychometric analyses to condense the Hot Flash-Related Daily Interference Scale (HFRDIS) into a shorter form termed the Hot Flash Interference (HFI) scale; evaluate cut-points for both scales; and establish minimally important differences (MIDs) for both scales.Methods:We analyzed baseline and postrandomization patient-reported data pooled across three randomized trials aimed at reducing vasomotor symptoms (VMS) in 899 midlife women. Trials were conducted across five MsFLASH clinical sites between July 2009 and October 2012. We eliminated HFRDIS items based on experts’ content validity ratings and confirmatory factor analysis, and evaluated cut-points and established MIDs by mapping HFRDIS and HFI to other measures.Results:The three-item HFI (interference with sleep, mood, and concentration) demonstrated strong internal consistency (alphas of 0.830 and 0.856), showed good fit to the unidimensional “hot flash interference factor,” and strong convergent validity with HFRDIS scores, diary VMS, and menopausal quality of life. For both scales, cut-points of mild (0-3.9), moderate (4-6.9), and severe (7-10) interference were associated with increasing diary VMS ratings, sleep, and anxiety. The average MID was 1.66 for the HFRDIS and 2.34 for the HFI.Conclusions:The HFI is a brief assessment of VMS interference and will be useful in busy clinics to standardize VMS assessment or in research studies where response burden may be an issue. The scale cut-points and MIDs should prove useful in targeting those most in need of treatment, monitoring treatment response, and interpreting existing and future research findings.

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