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J Clin Epidemiol. 1993 Jun;46(6):529-34.

Interviewer versus self-administered questionnaires in developing a disease-specific, health-related quality of life instrument for asthma.

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Department of Medicine, McMaster University Medical Center, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.


We wished to determine the extent to which respondents provided the same answers to a health-related quality of life (HRQL) questionnaire in self- and interviewer-administered forms. One hundred and fifty patients with asthma who were symptomatic or required treatment at least once a week, and had airway hyperresponsiveness to methacholine aerosol (PC20 < 8.0 mg/ml) participated. Patients completed a 152-item HRQL questionnaire in both interviewer and self-administered forms, separated by a 2-week interval, the order determined by random allocation. The percentage of items endorsed by the self-administered approach was significantly higher than that of the interviewer-administered approach overall (46.9 vs 35.8%) (p < 0.0001). The difference was consistent across all six domains; the absolute difference in the proportion of items endorsed varied from 8.9 to 12.3%. The intraclass correlations for the proportion of subjects endorsing an item was 0.84. Self- and interviewer-administered questionnaires yield very similar results in discriminating between subjects, but the self-administered version shows systematically greater HRQL impairment.

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