Development, validation and reliability of a web-based questionnaire to measure health-related quality of life in dogs

OBJECTIVES: To describe the development, preliminary validation and reliability testing of a shortened web-based form of GUVQuest, a structured questionnaire to measure health-related quality of life in dogs.

METHODS: The original 109 items were reduced using expert judgement and factor analysis. Validity was established by factor analysis and in a subsequent field trial using a “known groups” approach and classical test theory. Test-retest reliability was assessed using intraclass correlation coefficients.

RESULTS: The instrument comprises 46 items each of which is rated by dog owners using a 7-point Likert scale. Factor analysis revealed a sensible structure containing 4 health-related quality of life domains (vitality, pain, distress and anxiety) accounting for 64·1 per cent of the variability in the data. The field test involving 125 dogs demonstrated very good discriminative properties and intraclass correlation coefficient values of greater than 0·6.

CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: This is the first report of a valid and reliable companion animal health-related quality of life instrument, the contemporary approach to animal welfare measurement, which is presented in a web-based format, with automated production of a health-related quality of life profile. It offers major advantages to dog owners, practitioners and researchers. The study is from theSchool of Veterinary Medicine, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK.

Reid J, Wiseman-Orr ML, Scott EM, Nolan AM.J Small Anim Pract 2013 [Epub ahead of print].

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