Measurement Characteristics and Clinical Utility of the Parkinson Disease Quality of Life Measure (39- and 8-item versions) in Individuals With Parkinson Disease

      The Parkinson’s Disease Quality of Life questionnaire is a self-report instrument used to assess health-related quality of life in individuals with Parkinson disease (PD).1 The instrument assesses quality of life across 8 domains: mobility, activities of daily living, emotional well-being, stigma, social support, cognitive impairment, communication, and bodily discomfort. There are extensive psychometric data available for this measure, the majority of which reveal adequate to excellent validity and reliability for both the 39-item Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-39) summary index score and the majority of the 8 domain scores (with the notable exception of the social support domain).2-4 Domain scores are associated with larger floor and ceiling effects compared with the PDQ-39 summary index score, suggesting caution in the interpretation of individual domain scores.1 Responsiveness of the summary index score has been demonstrated with natural disease progression and with pharmacological interventions with mixed results following rehabilitation interventions.1 The use of the PDQ-39 is recommended for persons in Hoehn and Yahr stages 1 to 5. As the time required to administer the PDQ-39 (10–15min) can be long, an abbreviated 8-item version (PDQ-8) was developed.
      The PDQ-8 is a quick (<5min), valid, and reliable self-report instrument with adequate to excellent psychometric data supporting its use in persons with PD.3,4 It consists of 1 item from each of the 8 dimensions in the original PDQ-39. It is responsive to changes in health-related quality of life with natural disease progression and with pharmacological interventions, particularly in the later Hoehn and Yahr stages.5 However, responsiveness to rehabilitation interventions has not been adequately assessed. The PDQ-8 has no ceiling/floor effects and is adequately correlated with Hoehn and Yahr stages, Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale scores, and disease duration.5
      This Rehabilitation Measures Database summary provides a review of the psychometric properties of the PDQ-39 and PDQ-8 in individuals living with PD. A full review of the PDQ-39 and PDQ-8 as well as reviews of more than 100 other instruments can be found at
      Please address correspondence to [email protected] .
      • 1.
        Marinus J, et al. Health related quality of life in Parkinson’s disease: a systematic review of disease specific instruments. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2002;72:241-248.
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        Jenkinson C, et al. The Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-39): development and validation of a Parkinson’s disease summary index score. Age Ageing 1997;26:353-357.
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        Duncan RP, Earhart GM. Measuring participation in individuals with Parkinson disease: relationships with disease severity, quality of life, and mobility. Disabil Rehabil 2011;33:1440-1446.
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        Franchignoni F, Giordano A, Ferriero G. Rasch analysis of the short form 8-item Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-8). Qual Life Res 2008;17:541-548.
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        Luo N, et al. Responsiveness of the EQ-5D and 8-item Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-8) in a 4-year follow-up study. Qual Life Res 2010;19:565-569.
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        Jenkinson C, et al. The PDQ-8: development and validation of a short-form Parkinson’s disease questionnaire. Psychol Health 1997;12:805-814.
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        Huang TT, et al. Quality of life in Parkinson’s disease patients: validation of the Short-Form Eight-item Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-8) in Taiwan. Qual Life Res 2011;20:499-505.
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        Martinez-Martin P, et al. Quality of life of caregivers in Parkinson’s disease. Qual Life Res 2005;14:463-472.
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        Schrag A, et al. The EQ-5D—a generic quality of life measure—is a useful instrument to measure quality of life in patients with Parkinson’s disease. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2000;69:67-73.
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        Schrag A, Jahanshahi M, Quinn N. What contributes to quality of life in patients with Parkinson’s disease? J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2000;69:308-312.
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        Fitzpatrick R, Norquist JM, Jenkinson C. Distribution-based criteria for change in health-related quality of life in Parkinson’s disease. J Clin Epidemiol 2004;57:40-44.
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        Katsarou Z, et al. Assessing quality of life in Parkinson’s disease: can a short-form questionnaire be useful? Mov Disord 2004;19:308-312.
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        Luo N, et al. Determination of the longitudinal validity and minimally important difference of the 8-item Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-8). Mov Disord 2009;24:183-187.
      This instrument summary is designed to facilitate the selection of outcome measures by trained clinicians. The information contained in this summary represents a sample of the peer-reviewed research available at the time of this summary’s publication. The information contained in this summary does not constitute an endorsement of this instrument for clinical practice. The views expressed are those of the summary authors and do not represent those of authors’ employers, instrument owner(s), the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the Rehabilitation Measures Database, the United States Department of Education or the Retirement Research Foundation. The information contained in this summary has not been reviewed externally.
      The Rehabilitation Measures Database and Instrument Summary Tear-sheets are funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, United States Department of Education through the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Improving Measurement of Medical Rehabilitation Outcomes (H133B090024) and the Retirement Research Foundation (2011-027).