Background: Symptoms of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease have a substantial impact on patients' everyday lives.
Aim: To develop and test a short questionnaire to aid patient-doctor communication.
Methods: The Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease Impact Scale was developed from a systematic literature review, focus groups of patients and primary care physicians, and patient cognitive interviews. A psychometric validation study was conducted based on two consultations in new (n = 100) or chronic (n = 105) gastro-oesophageal reflux disease patients.
Results: The Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease Impact Scale demonstrated internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha ranged from 0.68 to 0.82), reproducibility (intraclass correlation coefficient in stable patients ranged from 0.61 to 0.72) and construct validity (Spearman correlations with Quality of Life in Reflux and Dyspepsia instrument and Reflux Disease Questionnaire: 0.5-0.8 in both patient groups). Effect sizes in new and chronic gastro-oesophageal reflux disease patients ranged from 0.9 to 1.5 and 0.32 to 0.42, respectively. Doctors reported altering their treatment decision based on information provided by the Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease Impact Scale in 35% of patients, and 77% of doctors found it to be useful.
Conclusions: The Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease Impact Scale demonstrated good psychometric properties in newly diagnosed gastro-oesophageal reflux disease patients and those already receiving treatment. This simple communication tool is a useful aid for managing primary care patients with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease.