Content Validity of CASA-Q Cough Domains and UCSD-SOBQ for Use in Patients with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

  •  Katharine Gries    
  •  Dirk Esser    
  •  Ingela Wiklund    


Purpose: The study objective was to assess the content validity of the Cough and Sputum Assessment Questionnaire (CASA-Q) cough domains and the UCSD Shortness of Breath Questionnaire (SOBQ) for use in patients with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF).

Methods: Cross-sectional, qualitative study with cognitive interviews in patients with IPF. Study outcomes included relevance, comprehension of item meaning, understanding of the instructions, recall period, response options, and concept saturation.

Results: Interviews were conducted with 18 IPF patients. The mean age was 68.9 years (SD 11.9), 77.8% were male, and 88.9% were Caucasian. The intended meaning of the CASA-Q cough domain items was clearly understood by most of the participants (89–100%). All participants understood the CASA-Q instructions; the correct recall period was reported by 89% of the patients, and the response options were understood by 76%. The intended meaning of the UCSD-SOBQ items was relevant and clearly understood by all participants. Participants understood the instructions (83%) and all patients understood the response options (100%). The reported recall period varied based on the type of activity performed. No concepts were missing, suggesting that saturation was demonstrated for both measures.

Conclusions: This study provides evidence for content validity for the CASA-Q cough domains and the UCSD-SOBQ for patients with IPF. Items of both questionnaires were understood and perceived as relevant to measure the key symptoms of IPF. The results of this study support the use of these instruments in IPF clinical trials as well as further studies of their psychometric properties.

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