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PLoS One. 2013 Apr 16;8(4):e61721. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0061721. Print 2013.

Development of the Japanese 15D instrument of health-related quality of life: verification of reliability and validity among elderly people.

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Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, Nara Medical University, Kashihara, Nara, Japan.



The 15D is a self-administered questionnaire for assessment of health-related quality of life, which contains 15 questions with 5 response options each. This study was conducted to evaluate the reliability and validity of the Japanese 15D.


The subjects were 430 community-dwelling elderly people. Each item of the 15D was scored on a 5-point Likert scale, with level 1 being the best, score 1. Reliability was assessed by determination of the internal consistency and test-retest reliability. Criterion-based validity was assessed using the Japanese version of the Nottingham Health Profile (NHP) and Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology Index of Competence (TMIG index). Acceptability was assessed by inquiring about the time required to complete the questionnaire and the burden felt in responding to it.


The answers of 423 individuals who responded to all items were analyzed. The median time required to complete the questionnaire was 5.0 minutes, and the proportion of subjects who indicated that the questionnaire was easy to complete was 98.3%. The Cronbach's alpha coefficients for all 15 items in the 2 surveys were 0.793 and 0.792, respectively. The intraclass correlation coefficients for the 15 items ranged from 0.44 to 0.72. In the relationship between the 15D and the NHP, the correlation coefficients between the corresponding domains were higher than those between non-corresponding domains. The prevalence of disability in higher-level functional capacity was higher in the "level 2 to 5" group than in the "level 1" group.


The Japanese version of the 15D showed sufficient internal consistency and moderate repeatability. Because of the short time required to complete the Japanese 15D and the significant relationships between the scores on the 15D and the NHP, and between the 15D and higher-level functional capacity, the acceptability and validity of the Japanese 15D were considered to be sufficient.

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