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Quality of Life Questionnaire-Bronchiectasis: final psychometric analyses and determination of minimal important difference scores


Background The Quality of Life-Bronchiectasis (QOL-B), a self-administered, patient-reported outcome measure assessing symptoms, functioning and health-related quality of life for patients with non-cystic fibrosis (CF) bronchiectasis, contains 37 items on 8 scales (Respiratory Symptoms, Physical, Role, Emotional and Social Functioning, Vitality, Health Perceptions and Treatment Burden).

Methods Psychometric analyses of QOL-B V.3.0 used data from two double-blind, multicentre, randomised, placebo-controlled, phase III trials of aztreonam for inhalation solution (AZLI) in 542 patients with non-CF bronchiectasis and Gram-negative endobronchial infection.

Results Excellent internal consistency (Cronbach's α ≥0.70) and 2-week test–retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficients ≥0.72) were demonstrated for each scale. Convergent validity with 6 min walk test was observed for Physical and Role Functioning scores. No floor or ceiling effects (baseline scores of 0 or 100) were found for the Respiratory Symptoms scale (primary endpoint of trials). Baseline Respiratory Symptoms scores discriminated between patients based on baseline FEV1% predicted in only one trial. The minimal important difference score for the Respiratory Symptoms scale was 8.0 points. AZLI did not show efficacy in the two phase III trials. QOL-B responsivity to treatment was assessed by examining changes from baseline QOL-B scores at study visits at which protocol-defined pulmonary exacerbations were reported. Mean Respiratory Symptoms scores decreased 14.0 and 14.2 points from baseline for placebo-treated and AZLI-treated patients with exacerbations, indicating that worsening respiratory symptoms were reflected in clinically meaningful changes in QOL-B scores.

Conclusions Previously established content validity, reliability and responsivity of the QOL-B are confirmed by this final validation study. The QOL-B is available for use in clinical trials and routine clinical practice.

  • Respiratory Measurement
  • Respiratory Infection
  • Perception of Asthma/Breathlessness
  • Bronchiectasis

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