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Development and evaluation of a questionnaire for assessment of health-related quality of life in cats with cardiac disease

Lisa M. FreemanDepartment of Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.

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John E. RushDepartment of Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.

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Mark A. OyamaDepartment of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

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Kristin A. MacDonaldVCA Animal Care Center of Sonoma County, 6470 Redwood Dr, Rohnert Park, CA 94928.

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Suzanne M. CunninghamDepartment of Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.

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Barret BulmerDepartment of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331.

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John M. MacGregorMassachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital, 20 Cabot Rd, Woburn, MA 01801.

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Nancy J. LasteAngell Animal Medical Center, 350 South Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02130.

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Rebecca L. MalakoffAngell Animal Medical Center, 350 South Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02130.

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Daniel J. HallDepartment of Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.

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Dennis J. TrafnyDepartment of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

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Abstract

Objective—To develop, validate, and evaluate a questionnaire (Cats’ Assessment Tool for Cardiac Health [CATCH] questionnaire) for assessing health-related quality of life in cats with cardiac disease.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—275 cats with cardiac disease.

Procedures—The questionnaire was developed on the basis of clinical signs of cardiac disease in cats. A CATCH score was calculated by summing responses to questionnaire items; possible scores ranged from 0 to 80. For questionnaire validation, owners of 75 cats were asked to complete the questionnaire (10 owners completed the questionnaire twice). Disease severity was assessed with the International Small Animal Cardiac Health Council (ISACHC) classification for cardiac disease. Following validation, the final questionnaire was administered to owners of the remaining 200 cats.

Results—Internal consistency of the questionnaire was good, and the CATCH score was significantly correlated with ISACHC classification. For owners that completed the questionnaire twice, scores were significantly correlated. During the second phase of the study, the CATCH score ranged from 0 to 74 (median, 7) and was significantly correlated with ISACHC classification.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that the CATCH questionnaire is a valid and reliable method for assessing health-related quality of life in cats with cardiac disease. Further research is warranted to test the tool's sensitivity to changes in medical treatment and its potential role as a clinical and research tool.

Abstract

Objective—To develop, validate, and evaluate a questionnaire (Cats’ Assessment Tool for Cardiac Health [CATCH] questionnaire) for assessing health-related quality of life in cats with cardiac disease.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—275 cats with cardiac disease.

Procedures—The questionnaire was developed on the basis of clinical signs of cardiac disease in cats. A CATCH score was calculated by summing responses to questionnaire items; possible scores ranged from 0 to 80. For questionnaire validation, owners of 75 cats were asked to complete the questionnaire (10 owners completed the questionnaire twice). Disease severity was assessed with the International Small Animal Cardiac Health Council (ISACHC) classification for cardiac disease. Following validation, the final questionnaire was administered to owners of the remaining 200 cats.

Results—Internal consistency of the questionnaire was good, and the CATCH score was significantly correlated with ISACHC classification. For owners that completed the questionnaire twice, scores were significantly correlated. During the second phase of the study, the CATCH score ranged from 0 to 74 (median, 7) and was significantly correlated with ISACHC classification.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that the CATCH questionnaire is a valid and reliable method for assessing health-related quality of life in cats with cardiac disease. Further research is warranted to test the tool's sensitivity to changes in medical treatment and its potential role as a clinical and research tool.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Bulmer's present address is Tufts Veterinary Emergency Treatment and Specialties, 525 South St, Walpole, MA 02081. Dr. Hall's present address is South Carolina Veterinary Specialists, 3924 Fernandina Rd, Columbia, SC 29210.

Presented in abstract form at the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Forum, Anaheim, Calif, June 2010.

Address correspondence to Dr. Freeman (Lisa.Freeman@Tufts.edu).