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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Construction of a traditional Chinese medicine syndrome-specific outcome measure: the Kidney Deficiency Syndrome questionnaire (KDSQ)

Run Qiu Chen1*, Chit Ming Wong2 and Tai Hing Lam2

Author Affiliations

1 LKS Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, 10 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong, SAR, China

2 School of Public Health, LKS Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, 21 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong, SAR, China

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012, 12:73  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-12-73

Published: 6 June 2012

Abstract

Background

Development of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) syndrome-specific outcome measures is needed for the evaluation of TCM syndrome-specific therapies. We constructed a Kidney Deficiency Syndrome Questionnaire (KDSQ) for the evaluation of the common TCM syndromes Kidney-Yin Deficiency Syndrome (KDS-Yin) and Kidney-Yang Deficiency Syndrome (KDS-Yang) in middle-aged women with menopausal symptoms.

Methods

KDS-Yin and KDS-Yang were traditionally defined by expert opinion were validated by exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and structural equation modeling (SEM). Content validity was tested by EFA on a sample of 236 women from a seminar and SEM on another sample of 321 women from a postal survey. Other psychometric properties were tested on 292 women from the seminar at baseline and two systematically selected sub-samples: 54 who reported no changes in discomforts 11–12 days after the baseline and 31 who reported changes in discomforts 67–74 days after the baseline. All participants completed the KDSQ, the Greene Climacteric Scale and the standard 12-item Short Form Health Survey.

Results

The EFA and SEM established the measurement models of KDS-Yin and KDS-Yang supporting content validity of the KDSQ. Internal consistency was good (Cronbach’s Alpha >0.70). Construct validity was supported by theoretically-derived levels of correlation with the established external measures. Test–retest reliability was strong (ICCagreement: KDS-Yin, 0.94; KDS-Yang, 0.93). The KDSQ was responsive to changes over time as tested by effect size and longitudinal validity.

Conclusions

The KDSQ was a valid and reliable measure for KDS-Yin and KDS-Yang in Hong Kong Chinese middle-aged women with menopausal symptoms.