Spanish validation of the University of Washington Quality of Life questionnaire for head and neck cancer patients

Gonzalo Nazar, María Luisa Garmendia, Michel Royer, Jennifer A. McDowell, Ernest A. Weymuller, Bevan Yueh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Objective The University of Washington Quality of Life (UW-QOL) questionnaire is one of the most widely used instruments to evaluate the quality of life of head and neck cancer patients. The aim of this study was to perform a Spanish translation and validation of the UW-QOL questionnaire. Study Design A cross-sectional study. Setting Three tertiary-care hospitals and a laryngectomee rehabilitation center. Subjects and Methods The translation and cultural adaptation of the questionnaire were performed following accepted international guidelines. The psychometric validation was performed on a consecutive series of patients treated for squamous cell carcinoma of the upper aerodigestive tract with no signs of relapse, recruited from May 2007 to December 2008. Eligible subjects were invited to complete the Spanish version of the UW-QOL questionnaire during routine clinical consultation, and complete it again within 15 days. Subjects also completed a validated Spanish version of the Goldberg Mental Health Survey and were evaluated by the use of the Karnofsky Index. Results A Spanish version of the questionnaire was developed in iterative fashion. In the psychometric validation process, a total of 76 patients were analyzed. Reliability was excellent, including both internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha of 0.84) and test-retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient between 0.91 and 0.97 with a confidence interval of 95%). Construct validity was supported by statistically significant relationships between the Karnofsky Index, the Goldberg Mental Health Survey, and the translated UW-QOL questionnaire. Conclusion The Spanish version of the UW-QOL questionnaire appears to be culturally appropriate and psychometrically valid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)801-807.e2
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Sponsorships: This study was financially supported by the Chilean Society of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery . The funding organization had no influence in study design, data analysis, or manuscript writing. The Chilean Society of Otolaryngology only demands that the paper resulting from the funded research must be published in a medical journal.


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