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1.  Validation of the Reflux Symptom Questionnaire Electronic Diary in Partial Responders to Proton Pump Inhibitor Therapy 
We aimed to develop and validate the Reflux Symptom Questionnaire electronic Diary (RESQ-eD) for use in clinical trials in patients with a partial response to proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy, using methods that meet US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory standards.
Patient interviews were performed to elicit new items and evaluate existing items from the Reflux Disease Questionnaire. The instrument's measurement properties were evaluated, based on data from two clinical trials of patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) with a partial response to PPIs who received lesogaberan or placebo as an add-on to PPI therapy.
The content validity phase resulted in 13 RESQ-eD items. Principal component analysis supported a four-domain structure. All domains had a high inter-item correlation (Cronbach's alpha lower 95% confidence limit: 0.87–0.95). Test-retest reliability was good to excellent (intraclass correlation coefficient: 0.65–0.85). Convergent and discriminant validity was confirmed by correlation assessments referencing the Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale. The RESQ-eD demonstrated a good ability to capture change in mean intensity and proportion of symptom-free days. Confirmatory psychometric evaluation verified internal consistency reliability, test-retest reliability, and ability to capture change.
The RESQ-eD demonstrated good content validity and psychometric properties in the clinical trial setting in patients with GERD who have a partial response to PPI therapy. To our knowledge, the RESQ-eD is the first electronic symptom diary for use in partial responders to PPI that has been developed in line with the FDA guidance on patient-reported outcomes.
PMCID: PMC3365670  PMID: 23238029
2.  Perspectives on gastroesophageal reflux disease in primary care: the REFLEX study of patient-physician agreement 
BMC Gastroenterology  2011;11:25.
Physicians may be unaware of the severity and extent of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in their patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate patient-physician agreement concerning proton pump inhibitor (PPI) treatment.
1818 French primary-care physicians and 5174 adult patients with GERD who were taking PPIs answered questions regarding symptoms and treatment satisfaction. Patient-physician agreement was scored using the Kappa (κ) method.
There was moderate patient-physician agreement for PPI treatment satisfaction (κ = 0.60), PPI prescription adherence (κ = 0.57) and use of over-the-counter gastrointestinal medications (κ = 0.44-0.51). Patient satisfaction with PPI therapy and PPI treatment adherence rates were both ~90%. There was poor patient-physician agreement concerning PPI therapy expectations (κ = 0.22-0.33). Residual reflux symptoms occurred in 61% of patients. Physicians underestimated residual symptom severity compared with their patients (κ = 0.43-0.47), though there was good agreement regarding the presence (κ = 0.62-0.78) and frequency (κ = 0.61-0.66) of these symptoms and their effect on patients' daily life (κ = 0.64).
Patient-physician agreement regarding PPI therapy for GERD was moderate or good for the presence of residual symptoms and moderate for treatment satisfaction, but poor for treatment expectations. PPI treatment resulted in high satisfaction rates, but residual symptoms were fairly common and their severity was underestimated by physicians.
PMCID: PMC3074557  PMID: 21435198
3.  Impact of gastroesophageal reflux disease on daily life: the Systematic Investigation of Gastrointestinal Diseases in China (SILC) epidemiological study 
Gastroesophageal reflux disease imposes a significant burden of illness in Western populations. However, data on the impact of reflux symptoms on daily life in Asian populations are scarce. The current study aimed to evaluate the impact of GERD (defined on the basis of symptoms) on health-related quality-of-life (HRQoL) in individuals from five regions in China, as part of the Systematic Investigation of Gastrointestinal Diseases in China (SILC) study.
In total, 18 000 residents were randomly selected from across five regions of China and asked to complete a general information questionnaire and a Chinese version of the Reflux Disease Questionnaire (RDQ). A randomly selected subsample of one-fifth of subjects (20% from each region) completed Chinese versions of the 36-item self-administered (SF-36) questionnaire and Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) questionnaire. Reflux symptoms were defined as the presence of heartburn and/or regurgitation. Symptom-defined GERD was diagnosed as mild heartburn and/or regurgitation ≥2 days per week, or moderate/severe heartburn and/or regurgitation ≥1 day a week, based on the Montreal Definition of GERD for population-based studies.
The response rate was 89.4% for the total sample (16 091/18 000), and for the 20% subsample (3219/3600). Meaningful impairment was observed in all 8 SF-36 dimensions in participants with symptom-defined GERD, in 7 of the 8 SF-36 dimensions in participants with troublesome reflux symptoms, and in 6 of the 8 SF-36 dimensions in participants with reflux symptoms below the threshold for symptom-defined GERD. Meaningful daytime sleepiness was also observed in each of these groups. The proportion of individuals reporting troublesome symptoms increased as reflux symptom frequency and severity approached the threshold for symptom-defined GERD, and this was associated with concomitant decreases in all HRQoL measures. Troublesome symptoms were reported by 68.2% (75/110) of individuals with symptom-defined GERD.
GERD diagnosed using symptom/frequency criteria (recommended for population-based studies), or based on troublesome reflux symptoms (recommended for the clinic), is associated with significantly impaired HRQoL in Chinese individuals. However, patient groups identified using these definitions do not overlap completely, suggesting that they capture slightly different, though clinically relevant, GERD populations.
PMCID: PMC2996363  PMID: 21062502
4.  Psychometric validation of the Dutch translation of the quality of life in reflux and dyspepsia (QOLRAD) questionnaire in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease 
The Quality of Life in Reflux and Dyspepsia (QOLRAD) questionnaire is one of the best-characterized disease-specific instruments that captures health-related problems and symptom-patterns in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This paper reports the psychometric validation of a Dutch translation of the QOLRAD questionnaire in gastroenterology outpatients with GERD.
Patients completed the QOLRAD questionnaire at visit 1 (baseline), visit 2 (after 2, 4 or 8 weeks of acute treatment with esomeprazole 40 mg once daily), and visit 4 (after 6 months with on-demand esomeprazole 40 mg once daily or continuous esomeprazole 20 mg once daily). Symptoms were assessed at each visit, and patient satisfaction was assessed at visits 2 and 4.
Of the 1166 patients entered in the study, 97.3% had moderate or severe heartburn and 55.5% had moderate or severe regurgitation at baseline. At visit 2, symptoms of heartburn and regurgitation were mild or absent in 96.7% and 97.7%, respectively, and 95.3% of patients reported being satisfied with the treatment. The internal consistency and reliability of the QOLRAD questionnaire (range: 0.83-0.92) supported construct validity. Convergent validity was moderate to low. Known-groups validity was confirmed by a negative correlation between the QOLRAD score and clinician-assessed severity of GERD symptoms. Effect sizes (1.15-1.93) and standardized response means (1.17-1.86) showed good responsiveness to change. GERD symptoms had a negative impact on patients' lives.
The psychometric characteristics of the Dutch translation of the QOLRAD questionnaire were found to be satisfactory, with good reliability and responsiveness to change, although convergent validity was at best moderate.
PMCID: PMC2933707  PMID: 20716328
5.  Systematic investigation of gastrointestinal diseases in China (SILC): validation of survey methodology 
BMC Gastroenterology  2009;9:86.
Symptom-based surveys suggest that the prevalence of gastrointestinal diseases is lower in China than in Western countries. The aim of this study was to validate a methodology for the epidemiological investigation of gastrointestinal symptoms and endoscopic findings in China.
A randomized, stratified, multi-stage sampling methodology was used to select 18 000 adults aged 18-80 years from Shanghai, Beijing, Xi'an, Wuhan and Guangzhou. Participants from Shanghai were invited to provide blood samples and undergo upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. All participants completed Chinese versions of the Reflux Disease Questionnaire (RDQ) and the modified Rome II questionnaire; 20% were also invited to complete the 36-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) and Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS). The psychometric properties of the questionnaires were evaluated statistically.
The study was completed by 16 091 individuals (response rate: 89.4%), with 3219 (89.4% of those invited) completing the SF-36 and ESS. All 3153 participants in Shanghai provided blood samples and 1030 (32.7%) underwent endoscopy. Cronbach's alpha coefficients were 0.89, 0.89, 0.80 and 0.91, respectively, for the RDQ, modified Rome II questionnaire, ESS and SF-36, supporting internal consistency. Factor analysis supported construct validity of all questionnaire dimensions except SF-36 psychosocial dimensions.
This population-based study has great potential to characterize the relationship between gastrointestinal symptoms and endoscopic findings in China.
PMCID: PMC2788573  PMID: 19925662
6.  Reliability and validity of the Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale (GSRS) and Quality of Life in Reflux and Dyspepsia (QOLRAD) questionnaire in dyspepsia: A six-country study 
Symptoms of dyspepsia significantly disrupt patients' lives and reliable methods of assessing symptom status are important for patient management. The aim of the current study was to document the psychometric characteristics of the Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale (GSRS) and the Quality of Life in Reflux and Dyspepsia questionnaire (QOLRAD) in Afrikaans, German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish and Spanish patients with dyspepsia.
853 patients with symptoms of dyspepsia completed the GSRS, the QOLRAD, the 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale.
The internal consistency reliability of the GSRS was 0.43–0.87 and of the QOLRAD 0.79–0.95. Test-retest reliability of the GSRS was 0.36–0.75 and of the QOLRAD 0.41–0.82. GSRS Abdominal pain domain correlated significantly with all QOLRAD domains in most language versions, and with SF-36 Bodily pain in all versions. QOLRAD domains correlated significantly with the majority of SF-36 domains in most versions. Both questionnaires were able to differentiate between patients whose health status differed according to symptom frequency and severity.
The psychometric characteristics of the different language versions of the GSRS and QOLRAD were found to be good, with acceptable reliability and validity. The GSRS and QOLRAD were found to be useful for evaluating dyspeptic symptoms and their impact on patients' daily lives in multinational clinical trials.
PMCID: PMC2276197  PMID: 18237386
7.  Responsiveness of measures of heartburn improvement in non-erosive reflux disease 
When measuring treatment effect on symptoms, the treatment success variable should be as responsive as possible. The aim of the study was to investigate the responsiveness of various treatment success variables in patients with symptoms of heartburn.
A total of 1640 patients with non-erosive reflux disease (NERD) were treated with proton pump inhibitors for 4 weeks. Treatment success variables were based on a symptom questionnaire (Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale) and on investigator-assessed heartburn, measured at baseline and after 4 weeks of treatment. The rates of treatment success were compared with patients' perceived change in symptoms, assessed by the Overall Treatment Effect questionnaire.
Generally, more stringent treatment success criteria (i.e., those demanding the better response) translated into more responsive treatment success variables. For example, the treatment success variable 'no heartburn' at 4 weeks was more responsive than the variable 'at most mild heartburn' at 4 weeks. Treatment success variables based on change from baseline to 4 weeks were, in general, less responsive than those based on the week 4 assessments only.
In patients with NERD, responsiveness varied among different treatment success definitions, with more demanding definitions (based on the 4-week assessment) giving better responsiveness.
PMCID: PMC1914340  PMID: 17562006

Results 1-7 (7)