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Development and Validation of a Questionnaire Assessing Patient Distress from Preoperative Fasting in Cataract Surgery

posted on 2020-11-23, 08:00 authored by Marko M. Popovic, Sivaruben Kalaichandran, Anna Kabanovski, Sherif El-Defrawy, Christian Arzola, Amandeep Rai, Jaya Ramwani, Simona C. Minotti, Julia Ma, Manokaraananthan Chandrakumar, Matthew Schlenker

Purpose: To develop and psychometrically validate a questionnaire to measure patient distress with preoperative fasting related to cataract surgery.

Methods: In this single-centered cross-sectional study, consecutive sampling of cataract patients was undertaken immediately preoperatively from February to December 2019. A questionnaire evaluating patient distress with fasting was designed and administered. Questionnaire development occurred in an iterative process and was conducted with consultation from expert investigators and patients. Validation and psychometric evaluation of the questionnaire were performed with Rasch analysis.

Results: A preliminary version of the questionnaire was developed by 10 study investigators. Across five iterations of development, the questionnaire was administered to 186 cataract patients. Psychometric evaluation of the 13-item questionnaire demonstrated ordered thresholds, acceptable item calibration and fit, adequate internal consistency, ability to discriminate between three levels of distress from preoperative fasting and no notable differential item functioning. However, issues with mistargeting, clustering of items on the person-item map and multidimensionality remained. Given these concerns, 13 separate re-analyses were conducted via removal of certain items. A 6-item subset was determined to be well targeted, unidimensional, did not display item clustering and was able to discriminate between patients with high and low distress from preoperative fasting.

Conclusion: A 6-item questionnaire is a valid, psychometrically robust and reliable measure for the assessment of patient distress with preoperative fasting in cataract surgery. Items include hunger, thirst, hoarseness, weakness, anxiety and nausea. Future studies should seek to validate this questionnaire across a variety of sociodemographic contexts, languages and specialties.


This work was generously supported by an independent research grant from the Physicians’ Services Incorporated Foundation.