BACKGROUND: The Freezing of Gait Questionnaire (FOGQ) was developed in response to the difficulties of observing and quantifying freezing of gait (FOG) clinically as well as in laboratory settings. However, as the FOGQ is a clinician-administered patient-reported rating scale it cannot be used in postal surveys. Here we report the development and measurement properties of a self-administered version of the FOGQ (FOGQsa).
METHODS: A clinical sample and a postal survey sample of non-demented people with Parkinson's disease (PD; total n = 225) completed the FOGQsa and questionnaires concerning physical functioning (PF) and fall-related self efficacy (FES). Additional questions (No/Yes) regarded previous falls and whether they were afraid of falling. The clinical sample was also assessed with the Unified PD Rating Scale (UPDRS). Thirty-five participants completed FOGQsa and were also assessed with the original version (FOGQ) in a clinical interview.
RESULTS: There were no differences (P = 0.12) between FOGQ (median, 10; q1-q3, 2-14) and FOGQsa (median, 8; 2-14) scores. The Spearman (rs) and intra-class correlations between the two were 0.92 and 0.91 (95% CI, 0.82-0.95), respectively. For FOGQsa, corrected item-total correlations ranged between 0.68-0.89. Reliability was 0.93 (95% CI, 0.91-0.94). FOGQsa scores correlated strongest with UPDRS Item 14 (Freezing; rs, 0.76) and with FES (rs, -0.74). The weakest correlation was found with age (rs, 0.14). Fallers scored significantly (p < 0.001) higher on FOGQsa compared to non-fallers, median scores 8 (q1-q3, 4-14) versus 2 (0-7). Those expressing a fear of falling scored higher (p < 0.001) than those who did not, median scores 2 (0-7) versus 6 (2-14).
CONCLUSIONS: The present findings indicate that the FOGQsa is as reliable and valid as the original interview administered FOGQ version. This has important clinical implications when investigating FOG in large scale studies.
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