Dyspepsia: how should we measure it?

J Clin Epidemiol. 1998 Feb;51(2):99-106. doi: 10.1016/s0895-4356(97)00245-x.


This study developed and validated a multidimensional measure of dyspepsia. A questionnaire was administered to 126 patients with dyspepsia who presented for care at a VA outpatient clinic and a family physician's private office. Dyspepsia-specific health was measured by self-report using: (1) an existing dyspepsia scale that produces an aggregate score by summing ratings across pain and non-pain symptoms; (2) adaptations of two scales originally designed to measure back pain; and (3) a new scale measuring satisfaction with dyspepsia-related health. Generic health was measured using the SF-36. Results from factor analysis revealed four dimensions of dyspepsia-related health: pain intensity, pain disability, non-pain symptoms, and satisfaction with dyspepsia-related health. After refinements, scales representing the four dimensions conformed to psychometric standards for reliability, and convergent and discriminant validity. The importance of measuring dyspepsia using a multidimensional approach was confirmed by demonstrating that classification of dyspepsia severity depended on the dimension that was assessed. We conclude that dyspepsia is best measured using a multidimensional approach.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dyspepsia / classification
  • Dyspepsia / diagnosis
  • Dyspepsia / epidemiology*
  • Dyspepsia / psychology
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pain Measurement / statistics & numerical data
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Texas / epidemiology