The German version of the Chronic Urticaria Quality-of-Life Questionnaire: factor analysis, validation, and initial clinical findings

A Młynek, M Magerl, M Hanna, S Lhachimi, I Baiardini, G W Canonica, Z Brzoza, A Kasperska-Zajac, B Rogala, A Zalewska-Janowska, T Zuberbier, M Maurer
Allergy 2009, 64 (6): 927-36

BACKGROUND: Chronic urticaria (CU) is a common skin disorder that causes a substantial burden on patients' quality-of-life (QoL). The aim of this work was to generate and validate a German version of the Chronic Urticaria Quality of Life Questionnaire (CU-Q(2)oL) and to provide reference assessments of QoL.

METHODS: The Italian CU-Q(2)oL was translated into German and administered to 157 CU patients. They also completed two well-established general dermatology QoL questionnaires, the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) and Skindex-29. Factor analysis was used to identify scales of the German CU-Q(2)oL. Correlation to the DLQI and Skindex-29 was used for validation. Multiple linear regression was used to determine which patient characteristics were associated with which dimensions of QoL.

RESULTS: The factor analysis identified six scales of the German CU-Q(2)oL: functioning, sleep, itching/embarrassment, mental status, swelling/eating, and limits looks, which accounted for 70% of the data variance. Five of these six scales showed good internal consistency, and another five demonstrated convergent validity. On a percentile scale, they had these median CU-Q(2)oL scores: 29 functioning, 44 sleep, 50 itching/embarrassment, 50 mental status, 31 swelling/eating, 31 limits looks. Disease severity significantly predicted scores on all scales. Age predicted functioning, sleep, itching/embarrassment, and swelling/eating. Sex predicted itching/embarrassment and limits looks.

CONCLUSION: This study yielded a robust validation of the German version of the CU-Q(2)oL. It confirmed previous studies that CU has a clinically meaningful burden on QoL, especially for sleep and mental health, and that women are more severely affected by pruritus. The German CU-Q(2)oL should be widely adopted in clinical research on the treatment of CU.

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