Purpose: This goal of this research was to develop and evaluate the psychometrics of a health-related quality of life scale developed to address issues related specifically to fecal incontinence, the Fecal Incontinence Quality of Life Scale.
Methods: The Fecal Incontinence Quality of Life Scale is composed of a total of 29 items; these items form four scales: Lifestyle (10 items), Coping/Behavior (9 items), Depression/Self-Perception (7 items), and Embarrassment (3 items).
Results: Psychometric evaluation of these scales demonstrates that they are both reliable and valid. Each of the scales demonstrate stability over time (test/retest reliability) and have acceptable internal reliability (Cronbach alpha >0.70). Validity was assessed using discriminate and convergent techniques. Each of the four scales of the Fecal Incontinence Quality of Life Scale was capable of discriminating between patients with fecal incontinence and patients with other gastrointestinal problems. To evaluate convergent validity, the correlation of the scales in the Fecal Incontinence Quality of Life Scale with selected subscales in the SF-36 was analyzed. The scales in the Fecal Incontinence Quality of Life Scale demonstrated significant correlations with the subscales in the SF-36.
Conclusions: The psychometric evaluation of the Fecal Incontinence Quality of Life Scale showed that this fecal incontinence-specific quality of life measure produces both reliable and valid measurement.