Background: Oesophageal hypervigilance and anxiety can drive symptom experience in chronic oesophageal conditions, including gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, achalasia and functional oesophageal disorders. To date, no validated self-report measure exists to evaluate oesophageal hypervigilance and anxiety.
Aims: This study aims to develop a brief and reliable questionnaire assessing these constructs, the oesophageal hypervigilance and anxiety scale (EHAS).
Methods: Questions for the EHAS were drawn from 4 existing validated measures that assessed hypervigilance and anxiety adapted for the oesophagus. Patients who previously underwent high-resolution manometry testing at a university-based oesophageal motility clinic were retrospectively identified. Patients were included in the analysis if they completed the EHAS as well as questionnaires assessing symptom severity and health-related quality of life at the time of the high-resolution manometry.
Results: Nine hundred and eighty-two patients aged 18-85 completed the study. The EHAS demonstrates excellent internal consistency (α = 0.93) and split-half reliability (Guttman = 0.87). Inter-item correlations indicated multicollinearity was not achieved; thus, no items were removed from the original 15-item scale. Principal components factor analysis revealed two subscales measuring symptom-specific anxiety and symptom-specific hypervigilance. Construct validity for total and subscale scores was supported by positive correlations with symptom severity and negative correlations with health-related quality of life.
Conclusions: The EHAS is a 15-item scale assessing oesophageal hypervigilance and symptom-specfic anxiety. The EHAS could be useful in evaluating the role of these constructs in several oesophageal conditions in which hypersensitivity, hypervigilance and anxiety may contribute to symptoms and impact treatment outcomes.
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.