Aims: To develop a brief syncope-specific measure of health-related quality of life.
Methods and results: One hundred and fourteen patients with syncope completed a 48-item questionnaire derived from a generic measure of quality of life (the EQ-5D), the Syncope Functional Status Questionnaire, a depression scale (the CES-D) and historical symptoms. From these, clinical impact methodology was used to derive 12-item Impact of Syncope on Quality of Life (ISQL). The ISQL correlated with the number of syncopal spells in the previous year (r = 0.35), self-perceived health status (r = -0.55), the three scores from the SFSQ: [impairment (r = 0.77), fear and worry (r = 0.72), syncope dysfunction (r = 0.82), and depression (r = 0.62)], illustrating its convergent validity with these concepts. Known group differences were evident between patients who exhibited reduced quality of life on the EQ-5D and those who did not. There was no significant correlation between ISQL score and age or gender. ISQL score correlated better with the frequency of spells in the previous year than years prior to the previous year.
Conclusion: The ISQL is a brief valid measure of the impact of syncope on quality of life. It measures impairment, fear, depression, and physical limitations, and correlates with recent syncope frequency.