Patient-reported outcome measures: selection of a valid questionnaire for routine symptom assessment in patients with advanced chronic kidney disease - a four-phase mixed methods study.BMC Nephrol. 2019 09 02; 20(1):344.BN
Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) are becoming increasingly important in healthcare. In nephrology, there is no agreement on which chronic kidney disease (CKD) symptom questionnaire to use. Therefore, the aim of this study is to select a valid symptom questionnaire for routine assessment in patients with advanced CKD.
A four-phase mixed methods approach, using qualitative and quantitative research methods, was applied. First, a systematic literature search was conducted to retrieve existing symptom questionnaires. Second, a symptom list was created including all symptoms in existing questionnaires and symptoms mentioned in interviews with patients with CKD, from which symptom clusters were identified. Next, questionnaires were selected based on predefined criteria regarding content validity. Last, two online feedback panels of patients with CKD (n = 151) and experts (n = 6) reviewed the most promising questionnaires.
The literature search identified 121 questionnaires, of which 28 were potentially suitable for symptom assessment in patients with advanced CKD. 101 unique symptoms and 10 symptom clusters were distinguished. Based on predefined criteria, the Dialysis Symptom Index (DSI) and Palliative Care Outcome Scale-Renal Version (IPOS-Renal) were selected and reviewed by feedback panels. Patients needed 5.4 and 7.5 min to complete the DSI and IPOS-Renal, respectively (p < 0.001). Patients experienced the DSI as more specific, complete and straightforward compared to the IPOS-Renal.
The DSI was found to be valid and reliable, the most relevant, complete, and comprehensible symptom questionnaire available for routine assessment in patients with advanced CKD. Routine PROMs collection could be of great value to healthcare, both at individual patient and national level. Feedback on scores and involvement of healthcare providers may promote adaptation and implementation in healthcare.