Objective: To develop and validate a postal health status questionnaire which will identify people with dyspepsia in the general population.
Design: Validation against telephone interview and post re-post determination of reliability.
Setting: A general practice population in the north of England.
Subjects: A random sample of adults aged 20-69 years inclusive chosen from the general population.
Main outcome measures: Validity has been checked against telephone interview. A kappa statistic has been calculated for each question and clinical category.
Results: Compared with interview the questionnaire is a valid, comprehensive and easily understood record of symptomatology. The kappa statistics (mean value 0.92) indicate a very reliable questionnaire.
Conclusion: The questionnaire accurately and reliably identifies people with dyspeptic symptoms.