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The Chiari Symptom Profile: Development and Validation of a Chiari-/Syringomyelia-Specific Questionnaire

Mueller, Diane M.; Oro’, John J.

Journal of Neuroscience Nursing: August 2013 - Volume 45 - Issue 4 - p 205–210
doi: 10.1097/JNN.0b013e3182986573

Objective: The Chiari Symptom Profile (CSP) was developed to provide a quantitative assessment of self-reported Chiari (CMI)-related symptoms and their impact on the individual’s quality of life.

Methods: The instrument was developed in three phases. Phase I consisted of instrument development using exploratory item analysis from the literature and direct patient evaluations. The item pool was then analyzed and tested on a convenience sample of eight CMI patients. Interitem correlation matrix suggested redundancy of 13 questions. These items were discarded, resulting in a final questionnaire consisting of 57 items, measuring four realms: physical, functional, psychological, and social. Phases II and III tested the reliability and validity of the instrument using a large sample of patients diagnosed with Chiari/syringomyelia.

Results: Statistical analysis confirmed that the CSP has excellent validity and reliability with a Cronbach’s alpha of .958 (p = .0001) and factor loadings ranging from .784 to .321.

Conclusion: The CSP is a self-reported, Chiari-/syringomyelia-specific instrument intended to provide a quantitative analysis of symptoms and their impact on the individual’s quality of life. The CSP has shown statistically significant content validity, internal consistency, and test–retest reliability. The CSP will enhance the provider’s understanding of Chiari-/syringomyelia-related symptoms, quantify the impact of self-reported symptoms on quality of life, help to determine if interventions are of benefit, and allow comparison of symptomatic improvement/outcome following different surgical techniques.

Questions or comments about this article may be directed to Diane M. Mueller, ND RN FNP, at She is a Doctor of Nursing Practice at the Neurosurgery Center of Colorado, Aurora, CO.

John J. Oro’, MD, is the Director of the Neurosurgery Center of Colorado, Aurora, CO.

The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from Conquer Chiari for statistical analysis.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

© 2013 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses