Development and validation of parent-reported gastrointestinal health scale in MECP2 duplication syndrome

Orphanet J Rare Dis. 2024 Feb 9;19(1):52. doi: 10.1186/s13023-024-03022-2.


Background/aims: We aimed to develop a validated patient-reported Gastrointestinal Health Scale (GHS) specific to MECP2 Duplication Syndrome (MDS) to be used in clinical trials.

Methods: MDS parents completed a Gastrointestinal Health Questionnaire (GHQ) to investigate the most relevant and important items associated with gastrointestinal problems in MECP2-related disorders. Item reduction was executed according to EORTC guidelines. We performed reliability and validity studies for the finalized scale.

Results: A total of 106 surveys were eligible for item reduction and validation processes. The initial 55 items were reduced to 38 items based on parent responses, expert opinion, and initial confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). The final MDS-specific GHS included 38 items and 7 factors that underwent further reliability and validity assessments. The power of the study was at least 0.982. The Cronbach's alphas of the instruments were General Health: 0.799, Eating-Chewing-Swallowing: 0.809, Reflux: 0.794, Motility: 0.762, Mood: 0.906, Medication: 0.595, Parenting: 0.942 and all items together: 0.928. The correlation coefficient between total and individual item scores ranged from 0.215 to 0.730. Because of the ordinal nature of the variables, the diagonal weighted least squares estimation (DWLS) method was used to execute the CFA and Structural Equation Modeling. The GHS had excellent model fit with the acceptable range of fit indices values.

Conclusions: We developed a parent-reported, reliable, and valid MDS-specific GHS. This scale can be utilized in clinical settings or as an outcome measure in translational and clinical research.

Keywords: Gastrointestinal health scale; MECP2 duplication syndrome; Parent-reported outcome; Reliability; Validity.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Mental Retardation, X-Linked*
  • Parents*
  • Psychometrics / methods
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

Supplementary concepts

  • Lubs X-linked mental retardation syndrome