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The Menopause-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire: psychometric evaluation among breast cancer survivors

Radtke, Jill V. MSN, RN1; Terhorst, Lauren MA, PhD2; Cohen, Susan M. DSN, APRN, FAAN3

doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e3181ef975a
Original Articles
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Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of the Menopause-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire (MENQOL) in a sample of breast cancer survivors experiencing menopausal symptoms.

Methods: This was a secondary analysis of MENQOL psychometric data from two larger parent studies investigating acupuncture for the relief of menopausal symptoms among breast cancer survivors. Reliability was assessed for each subscale of the MENQOL via (1) internal consistency reliability with Cronbach α and (2) test-retest reliability at multiple follow-up points with intraclass correlation coefficients and r. Convergent and discriminant validities were assessed via correlations of the vasomotor and psychosocial MENQOL subscales with select items in the Kupperman index and daily symptom diary. A principal components analysis was performed to determine construct validity.

Results: For each subscale, Cronbach α was 0.70 or greater. All subscale test-retest reliabilities at first follow-up were significant and at least moderately correlated (≥0.450; r's and intraclass correlation coefficients). Convergent validity was moderate between the vasomotor and psychosocial subscales and the symptom diary (r ≥ 0.410, P < 0.001) and larger between these domains and the Kupperman index (r ≥ 0.614, P < 0.001). In the same subscales, discriminant validity was supported by low, nonsignificant correlations (r ≤ 0.176, P > 0.05). The principal components analysis revealed a latent structure nearly identical to the prespecified instrument domains, with the exception of the physical domain.

Conclusions: With results comparable with those obtained in previous psychometric work, the MENQOL seems to be a reliable and valid instrument to assess quality of life in postmenopausal breast cancer survivors.

From the 1Department of Acute/Tertiary Care, University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, 2Center for Research and Evaluation, University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, and 3Department of Health Promotion of Development, University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, Pittsburgh, PA.

Received May 13, 2010; revised and accepted June 29, 2010.

Funding/support: The data included in this psychometric analysis are from two separate studies: (1) "Menopause Symptom Relief for Women With Breast Cancer," funded by the National Cancer Institute (R01 CA80625), and (2) "Menopausal Symptom Management with Acupuncture for Women With Breast Cancer," funded by The Patrick and Catherine Weldon Donaghue Medical Foundation. Susan M. Cohen served as principal investigator on both studies. Jill Radtke is supported by a Pre-doctoral Fellowship from the National Institute of Nursing Research, Ruth F. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (F31NR011562).

Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: None reported.

Address correspondence to: Jill V. Radtke, MSN, RN, University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, 336 Victoria Building, 3500 Victoria Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213. E-mail: jvr5@pitt.edu

©2011The North American Menopause Society