Quality of life after pulmonary embolism: Prospective validation of the German version of the PEmb-QoL questionnaire

Pascal M Frey, Marie Méan, Andreas Limacher, Waltraud Leiss, Nathalie Schwab, Mathilde Rochat, Drahomir Aujesky
Thrombosis Research 2015, 135 (6): 1087-92

BACKGROUND: The Pulmonary Embolism Quality of Life questionnaire (PEmb-QoL) is a 40-item questionnaire to measure health-related quality of life in patients with pulmonary embolism. It covers six 6 dimensions: frequency of complaints, limitations in activities of daily living, work-related problems, social limitations, intensity of complaints, and emotional complaints. Originally developed in Dutch and English, we prospectively validated a German version of the PEmb-QoL.

METHODS: A forward-backward translation of the English version of the PEmb-QoL into German was performed. German-speaking consecutive adult patients aged ≥18 years with an acute, objectively confirmed pulmonary embolism discharged from a Swiss university hospital (01/2011-06/2013) were recruited telephonically. Established psychometric tests and criteria were used to evaluate the acceptability, reliability, and validity of the German PEmb-QoL questionnaire. To assess the underlying dimensions, an exploratory factor analysis was performed.

RESULTS: Overall, 102 patients were enrolled in the study. The German version of the PEmb-QoL showed a good internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha ranging from 0.72 to 0.96), item-total (0.53-0.95) and inter-item correlations (>0.4), and test-retest reliability (intra-class correlation coefficients 0.59-0.89) for the dimension scores. A moderate correlation of the PEmb-QoL with SF-36 dimension and summary scores (0.21-0.83) indicated convergent validity, while low correlations of PEmb-QoL dimensions with clinical characteristics (-0.16-0.37) supported discriminant validity. The exploratory factor analysis suggested four underlying dimensions: limitations in daily activities, symptoms, work-related problems, and emotional complaints.

CONCLUSION: The German version of the PEmb-QoL questionnaire is a valid and reliable disease-specific measure for quality of life in patients with pulmonary embolism.

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