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The Fecal Incontinence Quality of Life Scale (FIQL) is a commonly used patient-reported outcome measure for fecal incontinence, often used in clinical trials, yet has not been validated in English since its initial development. This study uses modern methods to thoroughly evaluate the psychometric characteristics of the FIQL and its potential for differential functioning by gender.
This study analyzed prospectively collected patient-reported outcome data from a sample of patients prior to colorectal surgery. Patients were recruited from 14 general and colorectal surgeons in Vancouver Coastal Health hospitals in Vancouver, Canada. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to assess construct validity. Item response theory was used to evaluate test reliability, describe item-level characteristics, identify local item dependence, and test for differential functioning by gender.
236 patients were included for analysis, with mean age 58 and approximately half female. Factor analysis failed to identify the lifestyle, coping, depression, and embarrassment domains, suggesting lack of construct validity. Items demonstrated low difficulty, indicating that the test has the highest reliability among individuals who have low quality of life. Five items are suggested for removal or replacement. Differential test functioning was minimal.
This study has identified specific improvements that can be made to each domain of the Fecal Incontinence Quality of Life Scale and to the instrument overall. Formatting, scoring, and instructions may be simplified, and items with higher difficulty developed. The lifestyle domain can be used as is. The embarrassment domain should be significantly revised before use.
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- Evaluation of the Fecal Incontinence Quality of Life Scale (FIQL) using item response theory reveals limitations and suggests revisions
Alexander C. Peterson
Jason M. Sutherland
R. Trafford Crump
Ahmer A. Karimuddin
- Springer International Publishing