Measuring Medication Use, Obstacles, and Knowledge in Individuals With Cirrhosis

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2022 Aug 31;S1542-3565(22)00821-7. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2022.08.025. Online ahead of print.


Background & aims: Although patient knowledge is modifiable, there are no widely accepted tools to measure patient understanding during cirrhosis care. We aimed to develop and validate "My Cirrhosis Coach" (MCC), a personalized, self-administered questionnaire to evaluate cirrhosis-related medication use, obstacles, and understanding.

Methods: Adults with cirrhosis were prospectively enrolled at 3 tertiary centers from July 2016 through July 2020. Psychometrics including confirmatory factor analysis was used to develop and validate a final questionnaire. Content validity was measured via the content validity index and expert performance. Discriminant validity was assessed by comparing scores between groups hypothesized to have varying performance.

Results: The MCC was tested in a diverse cohort (n = 713) with cirrhosis and its complications including ascites (45%) and hepatic encephalopathy (33%) with median Model for End-Stage Liver Disease-Sodium 10 (interquartile range, 9-15). A 6-factor model of the MCC fit the data well (root mean square error of approximation, 0.22; comparative fit index, 0.96; standardized root mean squared residual, 0.104; final domains: Medication Use & Accessibility, Medication Obstacles, Lactulose Use, Diuretic Use, Beta Blocker Use, and Dietary Sodium Use). The MCC had excellent content validity (content validity index, 81%-94%) and accuracy (91%-100%) ratings by experts. Mean domain scores ranged from 1.1 to 2.6 (range, 0-3; 3 indicating better performance). Those with a cirrhosis complication scored higher in the relevant medication domain (ie, diuretic use score in ascites). Compared with outpatients, inpatients scored higher in all knowledge domains except salt use and reported more medication obstacles. Scores differed by income, education level, and having an adult at home.

Conclusions: In a large, diverse cohort, we validated the MCC, which can serve to standardize medication use and knowledge measurement in clinical practice and education-based studies in cirrhosis.

Keywords: Cirrhosis; Knowledge; Personalized Assessment; Questionnaire.