Dyspepsia: How should we measure it?

David H. Kuykendall, Linda Rabeneck, Catherine J.M. Campbell, Nelda Wray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


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 an 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-106
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1998


  • Dyspepsia
  • Health status
  • Psychometrics
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Epidemiology


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