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18-09-2018 | Uitgave 1/2019

Quality of Life Research 1/2019

Development and content validity of a hemodialysis symptom patient-reported outcome measure

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 1/2019
Jennifer E. Flythe, Adeline Dorough, Julia H. Narendra, Rebecca L. Wingard, Lorien S. Dalrymple, Darren A. DeWalt



To describe the process and preliminary qualitative development of a new symptom-based patient-reported outcome measure (PROM) intended to assess hemodialysis treatment-related physical symptoms.


Experienced interviewers conducted concept elicitation and cognitive debriefing interviews with individuals receiving in-center hemodialysis in the United States. Concept elicitation interviews involved eliciting spontaneous reports of symptom experiences and probing to further explore and confirm concepts. We used patient-reported concepts to generate a preliminary symptom PROM. We conducted 3 rounds of cognitive debriefing interviews to evaluate symptom relevance, item interpretability, and draft item structure. We iteratively refined the measure based on cognitive interview findings.


Forty-two adults receiving in-center hemodialysis participated in the concept elicitation interviews. A total of 12 symptoms were reported by > 10% of interviewees. We developed a 13-item initial draft instrument for testing in 3 rounds of cognitive interviews with an additional 52 hemodialysis patients. Participant responses and feedback during cognitive interviews led to changes in symptom descriptions, division of the single item “nausea/vomiting” into 2 distinct items, removal of daily activity interference items, addition of instructions, and clarification about the recall period, among other changes.


Symptom Monitoring on Renal Replacement Therapy-Hemodialysis (SMaRRT-HD™) is a 14-item PROM intended for use in hemodialysis patents. SMaRRT-HD™ uses a single treatment recall period and a 5-point Likert scale to assess symptom severity. Qualitative interview data provide evidence of its content validity. SMaRRT-HD™ is undergoing additional testing to assess measurement properties and inform measure scoring.

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