Validity and reliability of patient reported outcomes used in psoriasis: results from two randomized clinical trials

Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2003 Oct 8;1:53. doi: 10.1186/1477-7525-1-53.


Background: Two Phase III randomized controlled clinical trials were conducted to assess the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of weekly subcutaneous administration of efalizumab for the treatment of psoriasis. Patient reported measures of psoriasis-related functionality and health-related quality of life and of psoriasis-related symptom assessments were included as part of the trials.

Objective: To assess the reliability, validity, and responsiveness of the patient reported outcome measures that were used in the trials - the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI), the Psoriasis Symptom Assessment (PSA) Scale, and two itch measures, a Visual Analog Scale (VAS) and the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) itch measure.

Methods: Subjects aged 18 to 70 years with moderate to severe psoriasis for at least 6 months were recruited into the two clinical trials (n = 1095). Internal consistency reliability was evaluated for all patient reported outcomes at baseline and at 12 weeks. Construct validity was evaluated by relations among the different patient reported outcomes and between the patient reported outcomes and the clinical assessments (Psoriasis Area and Severity Index; Overall Lesion Severity Scale; Physician's Global Assessment of Change) assessed at baseline and at 12 weeks, as was the change over the course of the 12 week portion of the trial.

Results: Internal consistency reliability ranged from 0.86 to 0.95 for the patient reported outcome measures. The patient reported outcome measures were all shown to have significant construct validity with respect to each other and with respect to the clinical assessments. The four measures also demonstrated significant responsiveness to change in underlying clinical status of the patients over the course of the trial, as measured by the independently assessed clinical outcomes.

Conclusions: The DLQI, the PSA, VAS, and the NPF are considered useful tools for the measurement of dermatology-related limitations of functional ability and the frequency, severity and impact of psoriasis symptoms on patients' lives and psoriasis-related quality of life.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Dermatologic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / methods*
  • Psoriasis* / drug therapy
  • Psoriasis* / physiopathology
  • Psoriasis* / psychology
  • Psychometrics*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult


  • Dermatologic Agents