Clare Bradley, M Giannoulis, F Martin, C McMillan and P H Sonksen (2003)
Preliminary development of a new individualised questionnaire measuring quality of life in older men with age-related hormonal decline: the A-RHDQoL. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 1 (51).
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Background: There is increasing interest in hormone replacement therapy to improve health and quality of life (QoL) of older men with age-related decline in hormone levels. This paper reports the preliminary development and evaluation of the psychometric properties of a new individualised questionnaire, the A-RHDQoL, measuring perceived impact of age-related hormonal decline on QoL of older men. A-RHDQoL design was based on the HDQoL for people with growth hormone (GH) deficiency and the ADDQoL (for diabetes).
Methods: Internal consistency reliability and some aspects of validity of the A-RHDQoL were investigated in a cross-sectional survey of 128 older men (age range:64-80yrs), being screened for inclusion in a trial of GH and testosterone (T) replacement, and who completed the A-RHDQoL once. Respondents rated personally applicable life domains for importance and impact of their hormonal decline. A single overview item measured present QoL Serum levels of Insulin-like Growth Factor-I and total T were measured.
Results: of the 24 A-RHDQoL domains, 21 were rated as relevent and important for older men. All domains were perceived as negatively impacted by hormonal decline. The most negatively impacted domains were:memory (-4.54 + 3.02), energ (-4.44 + 2.49), sex life (-4.34 +3.08) and physical stamina (-4.29 + 2.41), (maximum range -9 to +9). The shorter 21-domain A-RHDQoL had a high internal consistency reliability (Cronbach's alpha coefficient - 0.935, N = 103)and applicable domains could be weighted and summed into an overall Average Wighted Impact score. The questionnaire was acceptable to the majority of respondents and content validity was good. The single overview item measuring present QoL correlated significantly with total T levels [r = 0.26, p <0.01, N = 114].
Conclusion: The new 21-item A-RHDQoL is an individualised questionnaire measuring perceived impact of age-related hormonal decline on the QoL of older men. The internal consistency reliability and content validity of the A-RHDQoL are established, but the measure is at an early stage of its development and its sensitivity to change and other psychometric properties need now to be evaluated in clinical trials of hormone replacement in older men.
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