Validation of the restless legs syndrome quality of life instrument (RLS-QLI): Findings of a consortium of national experts and the RLS Foundation

M. J. Atkinson, R. P. Allen, J. DuChane, C. Murray, C. Kushida, T. Roth, William Dement, Patrick Hogan, Georgiana Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study was designed to assess the initial psychometric properties of a new disease-specific health-related quality of life (HRQL) measure, the Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) Quality of Life Instrument (RLS-QLI). Methods: Draft items were generated from a literature review, consultation with MD and PhD specialists in the fields of neurology and sleep medicine, and input from two patient focus groups. The initial item reduction was accomplished using a survey of 392 persons with self-reported RLS symptoms from the membership of the RLS Foundation. The final (independent) validation sample consisted of 574 of persons on the RLS Foundation's Interest Group List Serve who also reported having RLS. The mean age of participants was 54.5 (SD 12.3), with a sex ratio of 1M:2F, and the majority was on some form of medication for RLS (66%). Results: Four factors were identified (Daily Function, Social Function, Sleep Quality, and Emotional Well-Being) consisting of 17 items that explained 73.3% of the total variance. Each scale had good internal consistency (Cronbach's α's between 0.85 and 0.91) and 2-week test-retest stability (Pearson Correlations between 0.81 and 0.93). Convergent validity was demonstrated using related scales on the SF-36 (r = 0.47-0.60) and criterion-related validity was shown using the clinical IRLS Scale of Symptom Severity (r = -0.45 to -0.77). Conclusion: The RLS-QLI is a valid disease-specific HRQL instrument that will contribute to our understanding of how RLS impacts the lives of those affected with this CNS disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)679-693
Number of pages15
JournalQuality of Life Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2004


  • CNS disorder
  • Patient-reported outcome (PRO) measurement
  • Quality of life
  • Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)
  • Sleep disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Validation of the restless legs syndrome quality of life instrument (RLS-QLI): Findings of a consortium of national experts and the RLS Foundation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this