Academic journal article Journal of Eating Disorders

A Danish Translation of the Eating Disorder Quality of Life Scale (EDQLS)

Academic journal article Journal of Eating Disorders

A Danish Translation of the Eating Disorder Quality of Life Scale (EDQLS)

Article excerpt

Author(s): Laura Al-Dakhiel Winkler[sup.1] , Simone Daugaard Hemmingsen[sup.1] , Claire Gudex[sup.2] , Anne-Cathrine Blegvad[sup.3] , René K. Staving[sup.1] and Sidse Marie Hemmingsen Arnfred[sup.3,4]

Plain English summary

This study aimed to translate a questionnaire suitable for measuring quality of life in patients with eating disorders. The questionnaire was originally developed by a group of Canadian researchers. Upon translation, the questionnaire was tested in a group of patients with eating disorders. Patients were recruited from specialized outpatient clinics in the Capital Region of Denmark and included 41 patients. When tested in patients, this study found the translated questionnaire to be reliable in patients with eating disorders. However, as the study only included a small sample of patients, it is recommended to test its reliability in a larger sample of patients.


Eating disorders (EDs) comprise a multitude of symptoms and include illnesses characterized by irregular eating habits and a disturbed body image [1]. EDs include several diagnostic groups with differing symptoms [1] and entail severe physical and psychological consequences [2]. Up to half of patients will never fully recover from their ED [2] and mortality rates remain increased compared to the general population [3].

Until recently, research has mostly focused on alleviating symptoms and optimizing body weight [4]. However, patient-reported outcome measures of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) are of increasing interest and show that EDs can have a profound impact on a person's life [4]. Studies report significantly worse HRQoL in patients with EDs compared to a norm population [5] and to patients with other psychiatric illnesses, including severe depression [6]. EDs often lead to serious somatic comorbidities (eg osteoporosis, infertility, dental problems etc) further contributing to the decreased HRQoL [7]. Approximately half of the patients with an ED fulfil the diagnostic criteria for a psychiatric comorbid disease [8], such as anxiety or depression, further enhancing the risk of decreased HRQoL.

The above studies used the generic measure Short Form-36 (SF-36) to assess HRQoL. It has been discussed whether generic questionnaires are sufficient in measuring HRQoL in EDs. The egosyntonic-/dystonic nature of EDs contribute to the compelling argument for developing disease-specific questionnaires, as these are designed to take into account the specific nuances of the disease. In 2007 a Canadian research group developed the disease-specific Eating Disorder Quality of Life Scale [9, 10] to evaluate changes over time in patients with EDs and to assess any differences in HRQoL across the different diagnostic ED groups. The content of the EDQLS was chosen to measure general aspects of life that were directly affected by an ED and its treatment. The EDQLS has 40 items divided into 12 subscales: cognitive, education/vocation, family and close relationships, relationships with others, future outlook, appearance, leisure, psychological, emotional, values and beliefs, physical, and eating. Adair and colleagues performed a pilot study among 41 women diagnosed with an ED and showed high internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha = 0.96), significant worsening in mean EDQLS score with increasing symptom severity on the Eating Disorders Inventory (EDI-2), and expected correlations with three generic HRQoL measures; the Short-Form-12, the Quality of Life Inventory, and the sixteen dimensional health-related measure 16D (9,10). Responsiveness of the EDQLS was subsequently tested in a longitudinal study across 12 sites in Canada that included 85 patients followed up after 6 months of treatment (81 women and 4 men) [10]. Effect sizes from baseline to 6 months were medium to large for the 12 subscales of the EDQLS, suggesting its usefulness as an outcome measure in EDs [10].

The present study is the first, to our knowledge, aiming to translate a disease-specific health-related quality of life questionnaire in patients with eating disorders into Danish. …

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