Development and evaluation of FSSG: frequency scale for the symptoms of GERD

J Gastroenterol. 2004 Sep;39(9):888-91. doi: 10.1007/s00535-004-1417-7.


Background: The aim of this study was to produce a simplified questionnaire for evaluation of the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Methods: A total of 124 patients with an endoscopic diagnosis of GERD completed a 50-part questionnaire, requiring only "yes" or "no" answers, that covered various symptoms related to the upper gastrointestinal tract, as well as psychosomatic symptoms. The 12 questions to which patients most often answered "yes" were selected, and were assigned scores (never = 0; occasionally = 1; sometimes = 2; often = 3; and always = 4) to produce a frequency scale for symptoms of GERD (FSSG). Sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of the FSSG questionnaire were evaluated in another group of patients with GERD and non-GERD. The usefulness of this questionnaire was evaluated in 26 other GERD patients who were treated with proton pump inhibitors for 8 weeks.

Results: When the cutoff score was set at 8 points, the FSSG showed a sensitivity of 62%, a specificity of 59%, and an accuracy of 60%, whereas a cutoff score of 10 points altered these values to 55%, 69%, and 63%. The score obtained using the questionnaire correlated well with the extent of endoscopic improvement in patients with mild or severe GERD.

Conclusions: This new questionnaire is useful for the objective evaluation of symptoms in GERD patients.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*