Measurement of health-related quality of life (HRQL) is becoming increasingly valuable within veterinary preventative health care and chronic disease management, as well as in outcomes research. Initial reliability and validation of a 22 item shortened version of VetMetrica (VM), structured questionnaire instrument to measure HRQL in dogs via a mobile application was reported previously. Meaningful interpretation and presentation of the 4 domain scores comprising the HRQL profile generated by VM is key to its successful use in clinical practice and research. Study one describes transformation of domain scores from 0-6 to 0-100 and normalisation of these based on the healthy canine population in two age ranges, such that a score of 50 on a 0-100 scale represents the score for the age-related average healthy dog, and establishment of a threshold to assess domain-specific health status for individual dogs. This provides the clinician with a simple method of ascertaining the health status of an individual dog relative to the average healthy population in the same age group (norm-based scoring). Study two determines the minimum important difference (MID) in domain scores which represents the smallest improvement in score that is meaningful to the dog owner, thus providing the clinician with a means of recognising what is likely to be a significant improvement in scores for an individual dog over time. Visual representation of these guidelines for the purpose of interpreting VM profile scores is presented using case studies.
PMID: 31532799 [PubMed - in process]