Reliability and validity of French, German, Italian, Dutch, and UK English translations of the medical outcomes study HIV health survey

Jane A. Scott-Lennox, Albert W. Wu, J. Gregory Boyer, John E. Ware

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES. Test the reliability and validity of 5 translations of the 34-item version of the MOS HIV for use in multinational clinical trials. RESEARCH DESIGN. Investigators in five countries followed a standardized protocol and recruited HIV+ patients stratified by disease stage: asymptomatic; symptomatic; and AIDS. During routine clinic visits, patients completed the MOS HIV and a checklist of HIV-related symptoms. Clinicians reported patients' demographics, most recent CD4+ count and disease stage. SUBJECTS. Three hundred and sixty three HIV+ outpatients attending AIDS clinics in The Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy, and England. MEASURES. Dutch, French, German, Italian, and UK English translations of the MOS HIV CD4+ cell count and the SCL-57. RESULTS. All translations recruited roughly equal proportions of each disease stage, although the number of patients recruited differed by translation (n: German = 92, French = 86; Italian = 88; UK English = 72; and Dutch = 25). Internal consistency reliability was similar across translations and adequate (alpha >.70) for all scales except for Mental Health in the French sample. Multi-trait analyses supported structural validity of the MOS HIV scales in each translation. Principal component analysis of scale scores identified 2 dimensions for all translations except German. For all translations, scores were significantly correlated with symptom severity scores but were uncorrelated with CD4+ cell counts. CONCLUSIONS. In general, the 5 translations of the MOS HIV had similar psychometric properties to those reported in the validation study for the original US English version of the MOS HIV. With some revision, these translations promise to provide useful quality of life data from HIV+ subjects in clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)908-925
Number of pages18
JournalMedical care
Issue number9
StatePublished - Dec 1 1999


  • Health-related quality of life
  • Psychometric validation
  • Translation validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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