Responsiveness of the Acne-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire (Acne-QoL) to treatment for acne vulgaris in placebo-controlled clinical trials

Qual Life Res. 2002 Dec;11(8):809-16. doi: 10.1023/a:1020880005846.


The Acne-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire (Acne-QoL) was developed to measure the impact of facial acne across four dimensions of patient quality of life. The main objective of the current study was to evaluate the responsiveness of this instrument. Secondarily, this study provided an opportunity to extend the developer's psychometric validation. The Acne-QoL was utilized in two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies of the efficacy of Estrostep (norethindrone acetate/ethinyl estradiol) in the treatment of facial acne; a total of 296 Estrostep and 295 placebo patients were evaluated. The Acne-QoL was completed at the beginning, middle (cycle 3), and end (cycle 6) of the 6-month treatment period. The responsiveness of the Acne-QoL was demonstrated through its ability to detect both small (baseline to mid-study) and moderate (baseline to study end) treatment advantages for Estrostep patients. Confirmatory factor analysis supported the subscale structure, and internal consistency estimates were excellent. Convergent and discriminant validity were supported by correlations between Acne-QoL scores and clinical measures that were both in the direction and relative magnitude hypothesized. Finally, item response theory analyses confirmed that each item is highly related to its subscale's latent construct and that each subscale is sensitive across a broad range of the underlying continuum. The results of this evaluation confirm that the Acne-QoL is responsive, internally consistent, and valid.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / psychology*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Controlled Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Participation
  • Placebos
  • Psychometrics
  • Quality of Life*
  • Sickness Impact Profile*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • United States


  • Placebos