The “Wound-QoL”: A short questionnaire measuring quality of life in patients with chronic wounds based on three established disease-specific instruments

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to develop a short questionnaire measuring health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in chronic wounds. Three validated instruments assessing HRQoL in chronic wounds—the Freiburg Life Quality Assessment for wounds, the Cardiff Wound Impact Schedule, and the Würzburg Wound Score—were completed by 154 German leg ulcer patients in a longitudinal study. For implementation in the new, shorter questionnaire Wound-QoL, all of those 92 items that covered the core content of the three questionnaires and showed good psychometric properties were selected. Internal consistency, convergent validity, and responsiveness were analyzed using the study data on the selected items (a new approach called virtual validation). Subscales were determined with factor analysis. Item, instruction, and response scale wording were harmonized. Seventeen items were included in the Wound-QoL, which could be attributed to three subscales on everyday life, body, and psyche. Both global score and subscale scores were internally consistent with Cronbach's alpha between 0.71 and 0.91. The global score showed significant convergent validity (r = 0.48 to 0.69) and responsiveness (r = 0.18 to 0.52); the same was true for the subscale scores. The Wound-QoL for measurement of HRQoL in chronic wounds proved to be internally consistent, valid, and responsive in German leg ulcer patients. The findings of this virtual validation study need to be confirmed in a longitudinal validation study on the final Wound-QoL, which is currently being conducted.

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