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25-03-2017 | Uitgave 4/2018

Quality of Life Research 4/2018

Modernizing quality of life assessment: development of a multidimensional computerized adaptive questionnaire for patients with schizophrenia

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 4/2018
Pierre Michel, Karine Baumstarck, Christophe Lancon, Badih Ghattas, Anderson Loundou, Pascal Auquier, Laurent Boyer
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s11136-017-1553-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Quality of life (QoL) is still assessed using paper-based and fixed-length questionnaires, which is one reason why QoL measurements have not been routinely implemented in clinical practice. Providing new QoL measures that combine computer technology with modern measurement theory may enhance their clinical use. The aim of this study was to develop a QoL multidimensional computerized adaptive test (MCAT), the SQoL-MCAT, from the fixed-length SQoL questionnaire for patients with schizophrenia.


In this multicentre cross-sectional study, we collected sociodemographic information, clinical characteristics (i.e., duration of illness, the PANSS, and the Calgary Depression Scale), and quality of life (i.e., SQoL). The development of the SQoL-CAT was divided into three stages: (1) multidimensional item response theory (MIRT) analysis, (2) multidimensional computerized adaptive test (MCAT) simulations with analyses of accuracy and precision, and (3) external validity.


Five hundred and seventeen patients participated in this study. The MIRT analysis found that all items displayed good fit with the multidimensional graded response model, with satisfactory reliability for each dimension. The SQoL-MCAT was 39% shorter than the fixed-length SQoL questionnaire and had satisfactory accuracy (levels of correlation >0.9) and precision (standard error of measurement <0.55 and root mean square error <0.3). External validity was confirmed via correlations between the SQoL-MCAT dimension scores and symptomatology scores.


The SQoL-MCAT is the first computerized adaptive QoL questionnaire for patients with schizophrenia. Tailored for patient characteristics and significantly shorter than the paper-based version, the SQoL-MCAT may improve the feasibility of assessing QoL in clinical practice.

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