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1.  Validity, reliability, and responsiveness of a new shortVisual Simplified Respiratory Questionnaire (VSRQ©) for health-related quality of life assessment in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 
The Visual Simplified Respiratory Questionnaire (VSRQ) was designed to assess health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It contains eight items: dyspnea, anxiety, depressed mood, sleep, energy, daily activities, social activities and sexual life. Psychometric properties were assessed during a clinical trial that evaluated the impact of tiotropium on HRQoL of COPD patients. These included the determination of structure, internal consistency reliability, concurrent validity with the St George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ), test – retest reliability, clinical validity and responsiveness to change over two weeks. Minimal important difference (MID) was calculated; cumulative response curves (CRC) were based on the dyspnea item. Psychometric analyses showed that VSRQ structure was unidimensional. The questionnaire demonstrated good internal consistency reliability (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.84), good concurrent validity with SGRQ (Spearman = −0.70) and clinical validity, good test-retest reproducibility (ICC = 0.77), and satisfactory responsiveness (standardized response mean = 0.57; Guyatt’s statistic = 0.63). MID was 3.4; CRC median value of the ‘minimally improved’ patients was 3.5. In conclusion, VSRQ brevity and satisfactory psychometric properties make it a good candidate for large studies to assess HRQoL in COPD patients. Further validation is needed to extend its use in clinical practice.
PMCID: PMC2672786  PMID: 19436682
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; VSRQ; SGRQ; health-related quality of life; minimal important difference
2.  Scoring and psychometric validation of the Perception of Anticoagulant Treatment Questionnaire (PACT-Q©) 
Background
The 'Perception of Anti-Coagulant Treatment Questionnaire' (PACT-Q) was developed to assess patients' expectations of, and satisfaction with their anticoagulant treatment. This questionnaire needs to be finalised and psychometrically validated.
Methods
The PACT-Q was included in the United States, the Netherlands and France into three phase III multinational clinical trials conducted to evaluate efficacy and safety of a new long-acting anticoagulant drug (idraparinux) compared to vitamin K antagonist (VKA). PACT-Q was administered to patients with deep venous thrombosis (DVT), atrial fibrillation (AF) or pulmonary embolism (PE) at Day 1, to assess patients' expectations, and at 3 and 6 months to assess patients' satisfaction and treatment convenience and burden. The final structure of the PACT-Q (Principal Component Analysis – PCA – with Varimax Rotation) was first determined and its psychometric properties were then measured with validity of the structure (Multitrait analysis), internal consistency reliability (Cronbach's alpha coefficients) and known-group validity.
Results
PCA and multitrait analyses showed the multidimensionality of the "Treatment Expectations" dimension, comprising 7 items that had to be scored independently. The "Convenience" and "Burden of Disease and Treatment" dimensions of the hypothesised original structure of the questionnaire were combined, thus resulting in 13 items grouped into the single dimension "Convenience". The "Anticoagulant Treatment Satisfaction" dimension remained unchanged and included 7 items. All items of the "Convenience" and "Anticoagulant Treatment Satisfaction" dimensions displayed good convergent and discriminant validity. The internal consistency reliability was good, with a Cronbach's alpha of 0.84 for the "Convenience" dimension, and 0.76 for the "Anticoagulant Treatment Satisfaction" dimension. Known-group validity was good, especially with regard to occurrence of thromboembolic events within 3 months from randomisation.
Conclusion
The PACT-Q is a valid and reliable instrument that allows the assessment of patients' expectations and satisfaction regarding anticoagulant treatment, as well as their opinion about treatment convenience of use. Its two-part structure – assessment of expectations at baseline in the first part, and of convenience, burden and treatment satisfaction in the second – was validated and displays good and stable psychometric properties. These results are not sufficient to recommend the use of satisfaction as primary endpoint in clinical trials; further validation work is needed to support the interpretation of PACT-Q dimension scores. However, this first validation makes the PACT-Q an appropriate measure for use in clinical and pharmacoepidemiological research, as well as in real-life studies.
Trial Registration
(ClinicalTrials.gov numbers, NCT00067093, NCT00062803 and NCT00070655).
doi:10.1186/1477-7525-7-30
PMCID: PMC2686675  PMID: 19348685
3.  Sequences of conserved region in the A subunit of DNA gyrase from nine species of the genus Mycobacterium: phylogenetic analysis and implication for intrinsic susceptibility to quinolones. 
The sequences of a conserved region in the A subunit of DNA gyrase corresponding to the quinolone resistance-determining region were determined for nine mycobacterial species and were compared. Although the nucleotide sequences were highly conserved, they clearly differentiated one species from another. The results of the phylogenetic analysis based on the sequences of the quinolone resistance-determining regions were compared with those provided by the 16S rRNA sequences. Deduced amino acid sequences were identical within the nine species except for amino acid 83, which was frequently involved in acquired resistance to quinolones in many genera, including mycobacteria. The presence at position 83 of an alanine for seven mycobacterial species (M. tuberculosis, M. bovis BCG, M. leprae, M. avium, M. kansasii, M. chelonae, and M. smegmatis) and of a serine for the two remaining mycobacterial species (M. fortuitum and M. aurum) correlated well with the MICs of ofloxacin for both groups of species, suggesting the role of this residue in intrinsic susceptibility to quinolones in mycobacteria.
PMCID: PMC162899  PMID: 8540734

Results 1-3 (3)