Validation of the Restless Legs Syndrome Quality of Life questionnaire

Linda Abetz, Susan M. Vallow, Jeff Kirsch, Richard P. Allen, Tinna Washburn, Christopher J. Earley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Objectives: The Restless Legs Syndrome Quality of Life questionnaire (RLSQoL) assesses the impact of RLS on daily life, emotional well-being, social life, and work life. This study investigates its validity and reliability. Methods: The RLSQoL was tested in 85 American adults with primary RLS. Patients were also asked to rate symptom severity with the International Restless Legs Scale (patient-reported version) and report on changes in symptoms over the 2-week period. Results: The RLSQoL summary scale score (range: 0-100) demonstrated acceptable internal consistency reliability (Cronbach's alpha = 0.92) and test-retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.84). All items indicated acceptable item-convergent validity. The RLSQoL distinguished between groups with mild, moderate, and severe symptoms (F = 52.22, P < 0.0001). It demonstrated preliminary responsiveness to changes in RLS status over 2 weeks (effect size: improvement, 0.25; deterioration, -0.32), indicating moderate scale changes consistent with the small clinical change over this time. Conclusions: These findings support the conceptual framework of the RLSQoL. It is a valid and reliable measure of the impact of RLS on QoL and is responsive to short-term changes in symptom severity. The RLSQoL appears to be an appropriate tool for trial-based assessments of treatments for RLS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-167
Number of pages11
JournalValue in Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2005


  • Health status
  • Quality of life
  • Questionnaire
  • Restless legs syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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