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Questionnaire Validation: an user guide
  • Daniela Carvalho,
  • Pedro Aguiar,
  • Paulo Ferrinho
Daniela Carvalho
Universidade Nova de Lisboa Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública
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Pedro Aguiar
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Paulo Ferrinho
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Abstract

Measurement is an essential activity in medical science and due to the subjective nature of the results that are being measured, it is increasingly necessary to have valid, reproducible and reliable methods. There is no guidelines simply focus on the validation of questionnaires. There are some reviews or task forces. Nevertheless, looking at some validation studies, there are different methods or techniques to develop it, which may cause some confusion. The aim of this review is to synthetize some of these information, to be used as a simple guide. Before any data collection, a translation of the questionnaire is needed. Psychometry involves the application of statistical techniques to test the measurement properties of an instrument. There are several measures to evaluate an instrument, the main ones being: classical test theory and modern test theory. Regarding the classical test theory, the key psychometric characteristics are: scale structure, accuracy (validity), precision (reliability) and responsiveness. Modern test theory models are techniques to assess the psychometric characteristics of an instrument, focused on the dimensionality of the questionnaire. Responsiveness, validity and precision are interlinked. However, each one is important, acting independently in the assessment of the psychometric characteristics of the instruments.