Psychometric properties of the Stroke and Aphasia Quality of Life Scale (SAQOL-39) in a generic stroke population

Katerina Hilari, Donna L Lamping, Sarah C Smith, Sarah Northcott, Alice Lamb, Jane Marshall

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94 Citations (Scopus)


Background: We previously developed the Stroke and Aphasia Quality of Life scale (SAQOL-39) and tested it with people with chronic aphasia. A scale allowing comparisons of quality of life between people with versus without aphasia post-stroke would be of value to clinicians.

Objectives: To evaluate the psychometrics of the SAQOL-39 in a generic stroke sample. Should this process result in a generic-stroke version of the scale (SAQOL-39g), a further aim is to compare the latter and the SAQOL-39 as tested in chronic aphasia.

Design and subjects: Repeated measures psychometric study, evaluating internal consistency, test—retest reliability, construct validity and responsiveness to change. People admitted to hospital with a first stroke were assessed two weeks, three months and six months post stroke.

Measures: SAQOL-39, National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, Barthel, Frenchay Aphasia Screening Test, General Health Questionnaire-12 and Frenchay Activities Index.

Results: Of 126 eligible participants, 96 (76%) participated and 87 (69%) were able to self-report and are presented here. Testing the SAQOL-39 in generic stroke resulted in the SAQOL-39g, which has the same items as the SAQOL-39 but three domains: physical, psychosocial, communication. The SAQOL-39g showed good internal consistency (α = 0.95 overall score, 0.92—0.95 domains), test—retest reliability (interclass correlation (ICC) = 0.96 overall, 0.92—0.98 domains), convergent (r = 0.36—0.70 overall, 0.47—0.78 domains) and discriminant validity (r = 0.26 overall, 0.03—0.40 domains). It differentiated people by stroke severity and visual analogue scale (VAS)-defined quality of life. Moderate changes (d = 0.35—0.49; standardized response mean (SRM) = 0.29—0.53) from two weeks to six months supported responsiveness.

Conclusions: The SAQOL-39g demonstrated good reliability, validity and responsiveness to change. It can be used to evaluate quality of life in people with and without aphasia post stroke.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)544-557
Number of pages14
JournalClinical Rehabilitation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2009

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