The HAQ compared with the MDHAQ: "keep it simple, stupid" (KISS), with feasibility and clinical value as primary criteria for patient questionnaires in usual clinical care

Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 2009 Nov;35(4):787-98, ix. doi: 10.1016/j.rdc.2009.10.011.


The health assessment questionnaire (HAQ) is the questionnaire most widely used to assess and monitor patients with rheumatic diseases. The HAQ includes 20 activities grouped into 8 categories of 2 or 3 (and queries the use of "aids and devices" and "help from another person" to perform these activities), and visual analog scales (VAS) for pain and patient global estimate of status. Use of the HAQ in usual care over the years has led to several modifications to develop a multidimensional HAQ (MDHAQ). The MDHAQ includes 10 activities, one from each category of the HAQ plus 2 complex activities-walk 2 miles or 3 km-all on one side of a page for easy "eyeball" review by a clinician; pain, global and fatigue VAS with 21 circles rather than 10-cm lines for ease of scoring; recent medical history; review of systems; a query about exercise; and scoring templates for the 3 rheumatoid arthritis (RA) Core Data Set patient-reported measures-physical function, pain, and global estimate-for a routine assessment of patient index data (RAPID3) composite score. Both the HAQ and MDHAQ involve 2 sides of one sheet of paper, and are completed by patients in 5 to 10 minutes. The HAQ requires 42 seconds to score, compared with 5 to 10 seconds for RAPID3 on the MDHAQ.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Psychometrics
  • Rheumatic Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Rheumatic Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*