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Development and psychometric testing of the Canine Owner-Reported Quality of Life questionnaire, an instrument designed to measure quality of life in dogs with cancer

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  • 1 Department of Clinical Studies–Philadelphia, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
  • | 2 Department of Clinical Studies–Philadelphia, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
  • | 3 Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
  • | 4 Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To describe development and initial psychometric testing of an owner-reported questionnaire designed to standardize measurement of general quality of life (QOL) in dogs with cancer.

DESIGN Key-informant interviews, questionnaire development, and field trial.

SAMPLE Owners of 25 dogs with cancer for item development and pretesting and owners of 90 dogs with cancer for reliability and validity testing.

PROCEDURES Standard methods for development and testing of questionnaire instruments intended to measure subjective states were used. Items were generated, selected, scaled, and pretested for content, meaning, and readability. Response items were evaluated with exploratory factor analysis and by assessing internal consistency (Cronbach α) and convergence with global QOL as determined with a visual analog scale. Preliminary tests of stability and responsiveness were performed.

RESULTS The final questionnaire—which was named the Canine Owner-Reported Quality of Life (CORQ) questionnaire—contained 17 items related to observable behaviors commonly used by owners to evaluate QOL in their dogs. Several items pertaining to physical symptoms performed poorly and were omitted. The 17 items were assigned to 4 factors—vitality, companionship, pain, and mobility—on the basis of the items they contained. The CORQ questionnaire and its factors had high internal consistency (Cronbach α = 0.68 to 0.90) and moderate to strong correlations (r = 0.49 to 0.71) with global QOL as measured on a visual analog scale. Preliminary testing indicated good test-retest reliability and responsiveness to improvements in overall QOL.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE The CORQ questionnaire was a valid, reliable owner-reported questionnaire that measured general QOL in dogs with cancer and showed promise as a clinical trial outcome measure for quantifying changes in individual dog QOL occurring in response to cancer treatment and progression.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To describe development and initial psychometric testing of an owner-reported questionnaire designed to standardize measurement of general quality of life (QOL) in dogs with cancer.

DESIGN Key-informant interviews, questionnaire development, and field trial.

SAMPLE Owners of 25 dogs with cancer for item development and pretesting and owners of 90 dogs with cancer for reliability and validity testing.

PROCEDURES Standard methods for development and testing of questionnaire instruments intended to measure subjective states were used. Items were generated, selected, scaled, and pretested for content, meaning, and readability. Response items were evaluated with exploratory factor analysis and by assessing internal consistency (Cronbach α) and convergence with global QOL as determined with a visual analog scale. Preliminary tests of stability and responsiveness were performed.

RESULTS The final questionnaire—which was named the Canine Owner-Reported Quality of Life (CORQ) questionnaire—contained 17 items related to observable behaviors commonly used by owners to evaluate QOL in their dogs. Several items pertaining to physical symptoms performed poorly and were omitted. The 17 items were assigned to 4 factors—vitality, companionship, pain, and mobility—on the basis of the items they contained. The CORQ questionnaire and its factors had high internal consistency (Cronbach α = 0.68 to 0.90) and moderate to strong correlations (r = 0.49 to 0.71) with global QOL as measured on a visual analog scale. Preliminary testing indicated good test-retest reliability and responsiveness to improvements in overall QOL.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE The CORQ questionnaire was a valid, reliable owner-reported questionnaire that measured general QOL in dogs with cancer and showed promise as a clinical trial outcome measure for quantifying changes in individual dog QOL occurring in response to cancer treatment and progression.

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplementary Appendix s1 (PDF 127 kb)
    • Supplementary Appendix s2 (PDF 608 kb)

Contributor Notes

Dr. Giuffrida's present address is Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.

Address correspondence to Dr. Giuffrida (magiuffrida@ucdavis.edu).