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Qual Life Res. 2000;9(4):393-403.

Validation of a French health-related quality of life instrument for adolescents: the VSP-A.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Santé Publique Faculté de Médecine Marseille France.


The French Health Ministry, stating the limits of traditional indicators to take into account the different aspects of adolescent health, declared adolescent health status assessment as a priority. Thus a French health-related quality of life (HRQL) generic self-administered indicator was developed on the adolescent's viewpoint for healthy and ill adolescents of 11-17: the VSP-A, Vécu et Santé Perçue de l'Adolescent, intended to be used as a discriminative, predictive and evaluative instrument. This paper reports the validation study of the 40-item VSP-A including 2941 adolescents. Six dimension scores were computed: psychological well-being, energy, friends, parents, leisure, school, as well as an index. Content and construct validity were confirmed. Factorial validity was shown. As expected, scale scores were significantly associated with a one-item global well-being visual analogue scale (r = 0.53; p < 0.001) and with a self-esteem score (r = 0.62; p < 0.001). On the VSP-A index, girls and older adolescents were found to have the lowest scores. The VSP-A is reliable in terms of internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha = 0.83) and test-retest results (r = 0.69; p < 0.001). The ability of VSP-A, filled in less than 15 min, was shown to discriminate between ill and healthy adolescents, and to predict an impairment of their health status. The next phase of the research involves testing in various populations and more specifically in populations with diverse acute and chronical health conditions, so as to refine the content of the instrument and to add much to what is known about the sensitivity to changes of the VSP-A scores in patients who are under treatment.

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