Background The Quality of Life Scale (QOLS) is a 16 item questionnaire. The QOLS covers a broader perspective of quality of life as it is seen by patients with rheumatic diseases including non-health factors as satisfying relationships with others, material well being, self-fulfilment and leisure activities.
Objectives Our objective was to translate the QOLS into German and to evaluate its reliability and validity for the use of German speaking patients with fibromyalgia (FM).
Methods We administered the QOLS to 57 FM patients meeting the ACR criteria (14 patients filled out the questionnaire 1 week later) together with German versions of the FIQ, the SF-36 and a tender point count (TPC). All patients were asked about the severity of pain today (VAS) and the duration of symptoms; pressure pain thresholds (PPT) were assessed by dolorimetry at all tender points with a Fisher Dolorimeter and laboratory tests were obtained. Test-retest reliability was assessed using Spearman correlations. Internal consistency was evaluated with Cronbach’s alpha of reliability. Construct validity of the QOLS was evaluated by correlating the QOLS with the FIQ and the SF-36 scores as well as with the pain variables and dolorimetry scores.
Results Age range was 33–73 years (mean 53,8). Means were for the TPC (maximal achievable score 120) 67, for pain today 6,8 and for duration of symptoms 11,8 years; the mean tenderness threshold was 1,49 kg/cm2. Test-retest reliability was for the total QOLS 0,76. Internal consistency was 0,88. As hypothesised, low to moderate correlations (rho) were obtained between the QOLS and the total FIQ (-0,29), the SF-36 (e.g. physical component 0,19, mental component -0,17) as well as the pain variables (VAS -0,18, TPC -0,01) and PPT (0,12).
Conclusion The QOLS-G is a reliable and valid instrument for measuring quality of life in German patients with FM.
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