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Menopause:
doi: 10.1097/GME.0b013e318282600b
Original Articles

The Vulvovaginal Symptoms Questionnaire: a questionnaire for measuring vulvovaginal symptoms in postmenopausal women

Erekson, Elisabeth A. MD, MPH1; Yip, Sallis O. MD1; Wedderburn, Terri S. BS1; Martin, Deanna K. MPH1; Li, Fang-Yong MPH2; Choi, Jennifer N. MD3; Kenton, Kimberly S. MD, MS4; Fried, Terri R. MD5

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Abstract

Objective

This study aims to develop a Vulvovaginal Symptoms Questionnaire (VSQ) to determine the symptoms, emotions, life impact, and sexual impact of vulvovaginal symptoms on postmenopausal women.

Methods

We developed a questionnaire that focuses on vulvovaginal symptoms based on modifications to Skindex-16, a validated questionnaire for measuring the impact of skin disease. We recruited postmenopausal women seeking routine gynecologic care to test the psychometric properties of the VSQ. Test-retest reliability was assessed 2 to 4 weeks after their initial recruitment and measured using intraclass coefficients. Four distinct a priori scales of the VSQ were developed: symptoms, emotions, life impact, and sexual impact. Confirmatory factor analysis was performed to verify the four a priori scales by evaluating the goodness of fit of a final confirmatory factor analysis model. The internal consistency of the scales was assessed by calculating Cronbach’s α coefficients.

Results

The VSQ is a 21-item written questionnaire with four scales: symptoms, emotions, life impact, and sexual impact. One hundred twenty postmenopausal women participated in the psychometric validation of the VSQ. The test-retest reliability measured by intraclass coefficients was 0.75, 0.60, 0.55, and 0.65 for the symptoms, emotions, life impact, and sexual impact scales, respectively. The goodness of fit of the confirmatory factor response model was confirmed. The Cronbach’s α coefficients were 0.76, 0.87, 0.83, and 0.82 for the respective scales.

Conclusions

The VSQ is a reliable and internally consistent instrument for measuring vulvovaginal symptoms in postmenopausal women.

© 2013 by The North American Menopause Society

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