Original Article

Questionnaire validation may not validate- a critical analysis


Pelviperineology 2016;35(4):122-124

The genesis of this work came from analysis of a single patient QOL graph mainly for pain. It gave rise to 6 questions concerning the validity of the validation process using the ICIQ questionnaire as an example. The questions raised against ‘validation’ were: 1. The assessment was almost entirely subjective. 2. The test-re-test time frame of 2 weeks could lead to major errors. 3. The questions tested the collective memory, not variation. 4. Replacement of the physician’s interaction and the considerable benefits thereof. 5. The questionnaires are reductionist, seemingly oblivious of the holistic anatomical control mechanism. 6. Validations add another layer of complexity and do not add to what can be obtained using the simple language of a questionnaire. In conclusion there seems no benefit in ‘validating’ what are really simple questions based on plain English. As long as the authors define what they are talking about in the methods that should suffice.

Keywords: Questionnaire validation; Art of Medicine.