Doubtful outcome of the validation of the Rome II questionnaire: validation of a symptom based diagnostic toolReportar como inadecuado

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Health and Quality of Life Outcomes

, 7:106

First Online: 29 December 2009Received: 05 March 2009Accepted: 29 December 2009


BackgroundQuestionnaires are used in research and clinical practice. For gastrointestinal complaints the Rome II questionnaire is internationally known but not validated. The aim of this study was to validate a printed and a computerized version of Rome II, translated into Swedish. Results from various analyses are reported.

MethodsVolunteers from a population based colonoscopy study were included n = 1011, together with patients seeking general practice n = 45 and patients visiting a gastrointestinal specialists- clinic n = 67. The questionnaire consists of 38 questions concerning gastrointestinal symptoms and complaints. Diagnoses are made after a special code. Our validation included analyses of the translation, feasibility, predictability, reproducibility and reliability. Kappa values and overall agreement were measured. The factor structures were confirmed using a principal component analysis and Cronbach-s alpha was used to test the internal consistency.

Results and DiscussionTranslation and back translation showed good agreement. The questionnaire was easy to understand and use. The reproducibility test showed kappa values of 0.60 for GERS, 0.52 for FD, and 0.47 for IBS. Kappa values and overall agreement for the predictability when the diagnoses by the questionnaire were compared to the diagnoses by the clinician were 0.26 and 90% for GERS, 0.18 and 85% for FD, and 0.49 and 86% for IBS. Corresponding figures for the agreement between the printed and the digital version were 0.50 and 92% for GERS, 0.64 and 95% for FD, and 0.76 and 95% for IBS. Cronbach-s alpha coefficient for GERS was 0.75 with a span per item of 0.71 to 0.76. For FD the figures were 0.68 and 0.54 to 0.70 and for IBS 0.61 and 0.56 to 0.66. The Rome II questionnaire has never been thoroughly validated before even if diagnoses made by the Rome criteria have been compared to diagnoses made in clinical practice.

ConclusionThe accuracy of the Swedish version of the Rome II is of doubtful value for clinical practice and research. The results for reproducibility and reliability were acceptable but the outcome of the predictability test was poor with IBS as an exception. The agreement between the digital and the paper questionnaire was good.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1477-7525-7-106 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Herdis KM Molinder - Lars Kjellström - Henry BO Nylin - Lars E Agréus


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