Background: Patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) have impaired health-related quality of life (HRQL). To measure HRQL, an IPF-specific version of the St. George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ-I) was developed, but not sufficiently validated. This study aimed to assess the validity (i.a. known-groups validity and concurrent validity) and test-retest reliability of SGRQ-I in IPF patients with different disease durations.
Methods: Patients with IPF were consecutively recruited and completed SGRQ, SGRQ-I, King’s Brief Interstitial Lung Disease questionnaire (K-BILD), University of California, San Diego Shortness of Breath Questionnaire (SOBQ) and Short Form-36 (SF-36) along with pulmonary function tests and a 6-min walk test (6MWT) at baseline. After two weeks, SGRQ-I and Global Rating of Change Scales (GRCS) were completed.
Results: At baseline and after two weeks, 150 and 134 patients completed the questionnaires, respectively. The internal consistency of SGRQ-I was high (Cronbach’s α = 0.92). Good concurrent validity was demonstrated by high intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC = 0.97), Bland-Altman plots and moderate to strong correlations to K-BILD, SOBQ and SF-36 (r = − 0.46 to 0.80). High ICC (0.92) and a Bland-Altman plot indicated good test-retest reliability. SGRQ-I was good at discriminating between patients with different stages of disease (Δscore > 18.1, effect sizes > 0.10). Validity was similar across groups of different disease duration.
Conclusions: SGRQ-I proved to be valid at distinguishing between different disease severities, valid compared to other HRQL instruments, applicable across different disease durations and reliable upon repetition. SGRQ-I is a valid option for measuring HRQL in patients with IPF.