Reliability, validity and responsiveness of the syncope functional status questionnaire

Nynke Van Dijk, Kimberly R. Boer, Wouter Wieling, Mark Linzer, Mirjam A. Sprangers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Patients with transient loss of consciousness (TLOC) have poor health-related quality of life (HR-QoL). OBJECTIVE: To test the reliability, validity, and responsiveness of the disease-specific Syncope Functional Status HR-QoL Questionnaire (SFSQ), which yields two summary scales-impairment score (IS) and fear-worry score (FWS). DESIGN: Cohort-study. PARTICIPANTS: 503 adult patients presenting with TLOC. MEASUREMENTS: HR-QoL was assessed using the SFSQ and the Short Form-36 (SF-36) after presentation and 1 year later. To test reliability, score distributions, internal consistency, and test-retest reliability were assessed. To assess validity, scores on the SFSQ and the SF-36 were compared. Clinical validity was tested using known-group comparison. Responsiveness was assessed by comparing changes in SFSQ scores with changes in health status and clinical condition. RESULTS: Response rate was 82% at baseline and 72% at 1-year follow-up. For all scales the full range of scores was seen. Score distributions were asymmetrical. Internal consistency was high (alpha=0.88 for IS, 0.92 for FWS). Test-retest reliability was moderate to good for individual items and high for summary scales (inter-class correlation=0.78 for both IS and FWS). Correlations between SFSQ scores and the SF-36 were modest. The SFSQ did not discriminate between patients differing in age and gender but did discriminate between patients differing in number of episodes and comorbid conditions. Changes in SFSQ scores were related to changes in health status and the presence of recurrences but did not vary by TLOC diagnosis. CONCLUSION: The SFSQ is an adequately reliable, valid, and responsive measure to assess HR-QoL in patients with TLOC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1280-1285
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of general internal medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2007


  • Quality of life
  • Syncope
  • Validation study

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