American Association of Plastic Surgeons

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The Abdominal Hernia-Q: Validation through Patient Burden and Test-Retest Reliability Measurements
Shelby Nathan, MS, Jaclyn Mauch, BA, Charlie Messa, BS, Robyn Broach, PhD, Geoffrey M. Kozak, MD, Sheri Thrippleton, PA-C, Judy A. Shea, PhD, John Fischer, MD MPH.
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

PURPOSE: The Abdominal Hernia-Q (AHQ) is a hernia-related patient-reported quality of life instrument that has been psychometrically validated, with the exception of patient burden and test-retest reliability. In order to complete the validation of the instrument, these two outcomes were measured.
METHODS: The pre- (8 items) and post-operative (16 items) AHQ questionnaires were administered to pre- and post-operative hernia repair patients. To measure patient burden, patients were timed as they completed the AHQ in clinic. Patients were asked to complete the questionnaire a second time within 21 days of the first questionnaire to determine test-retest reliability.
RESULTS: 50 pre-operative and 75 post-operative patients participated in the patient burden study. The average completion times of the pre- and post-operative questionnaires were 68 seconds [31-160] and 200 seconds [49-617], respectively. 35 patients participated in test-retest validation. Average AHQ scores were 3.42 and 3.45 (max=4) at the first and second time points, respectively (r =0.93, p<0.00). Average time between test and retest was 9.54 days [4-21 days]. Correlation coefficients ranged from 0.45 to 0.92 (0.75 0.15) across all questions between time 1 and time 2 (p-values: 0.000-0.007).
CONCLUSION: The AHQ demonstrates a low patient burden, reflecting minimal interference with clinical practice. Additionally, test-retest validation outcomes support the reliability of the AHQ instrument, which measures constructs related to abdominal quality of life. In conclusion, the low patient burden and reliability suggest that the AHQ may aid clinicians in elucidating hernia-related quality of life outcomes.


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