Interviewer versus self-administered questionnaires in developing a disease-specific, health-related quality of life instrument for asthma

J Clin Epidemiol. 1993 Jun;46(6):529-34. doi: 10.1016/0895-4356(93)90125-k.


We wished to determine the extent to which respondents provided the same answers to a health-related quality of life (HRQL) questionnaire in self- and interviewer-administered forms. One hundred and fifty patients with asthma who were symptomatic or required treatment at least once a week, and had airway hyperresponsiveness to methacholine aerosol (PC20 < 8.0 mg/ml) participated. Patients completed a 152-item HRQL questionnaire in both interviewer and self-administered forms, separated by a 2-week interval, the order determined by random allocation. The percentage of items endorsed by the self-administered approach was significantly higher than that of the interviewer-administered approach overall (46.9 vs 35.8%) (p < 0.0001). The difference was consistent across all six domains; the absolute difference in the proportion of items endorsed varied from 8.9 to 12.3%. The intraclass correlations for the proportion of subjects endorsing an item was 0.84. Self- and interviewer-administered questionnaires yield very similar results in discriminating between subjects, but the self-administered version shows systematically greater HRQL impairment.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Asthma / psychology*
  • Effect Modifier, Epidemiologic
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*