Objectives: Recently, an increasing number of systematic reviews have been published in which the measurement properties of health status questionnaires are compared. For a meaningful comparison, quality criteria for measurement properties are needed. Our aim was to develop quality criteria for design, methods, and outcomes of studies on the development and evaluation of health status questionnaires.
Study design and setting: Quality criteria for content validity, internal consistency, criterion validity, construct validity, reproducibility, longitudinal validity, responsiveness, floor and ceiling effects, and interpretability were derived from existing guidelines and consensus within our research group.
Results: For each measurement property a criterion was defined for a positive, negative, or indeterminate rating, depending on the design, methods, and outcomes of the validation study.
Conclusion: Our criteria make a substantial contribution toward defining explicit quality criteria for measurement properties of health status questionnaires. Our criteria can be used in systematic reviews of health status questionnaires, to detect shortcomings and gaps in knowledge of measurement properties, and to design validation studies. The future challenge will be to refine and complete the criteria and to reach broad consensus, especially on quality criteria for good measurement properties.