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Stroke. 2001 Oct;32(10):2232-6.

Validating the Questionnaire for Verifying Stroke-Free Status (QVSFS) by neurological history and examination.

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  • 1Roudebush Veterans Administration Medical Center, Department of Neurology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Regenstrief Institute for Health Care, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.



The Questionnaire for Verifying Stroke-Free Status (QVSFS) is an 8-item structured interview designed to identify stroke-free individuals. Previously, the QVSFS was validated with medical record review in a cohort with a low prevalence (7.1%) of stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA). The objective of this study was to evaluate the validity of the QVSFS by comparing it with stroke status as determined by neurological history and examination in a population with a higher prevalence of stroke.


A research assistant administered the QVSFS to outpatients from Veterans Administration stroke and general medicine clinics. Subjects were defined as QVSFS negative if responses to all 8 questions were negative. Questions requiring rephrasing or clarification were noted. Neurologists, blinded to QVSFS scores, interviewed and examined all subjects to determine stroke-free status, defined as no history or examination findings of previous stroke and/or TIA.


One hundred fifty-five subjects were examined; mean age was 70 years; 98.1% were male. Seventy-eight subjects were determined to be stroke free by the neurologist. The negative predictive value of the QVSFS was 0.96, with positive predictive value of 0.71. No question required rephrasing or clarification >5 times. Twenty-two subjects (14.2%) required rephrasing or clarification of at least 1 question.


The QVSFS can effectively identify stroke-free individuals with a high degree of accuracy, even in a population with a large proportion of patients with prior stroke or TIA. Accuracy for identifying subjects with stroke and/or TIA is lower, but the QVSFS may still be useful as a screening tool in that regard.

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