The 39-item Parkinson's disease questionnaire (PDQ-39) is the most widely used patient-reported rating scale in Parkinson's disease (PD). However, recent studies have questioned its validity and it is unclear what scores represent. This study explored the possibility of regrouping PDQ-39 items into scales representing the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) components of Body Functions and Structures (BF), Activities and Participation (AP), and Environmental (E) factors. An iterative process using Rasch analysis produced five new items sets, two each for the BF and AP components and one representing E. Four of these were found to represent clinically meaningful variables: Emotional Impairment (BF), Gross Motor Disability (AP), Fine Motor Disability (AP), and Socioattitudinal Environment (E) with acceptable reliability (0.73-0.96) and fit to the Rasch model (total item-trait chi-square, 8.28-33.2; P>.05). These new ICF-based scales offer a means to reanalyze PDQ-39 data from an ICF perspective and to study its health components using a widely available health status questionnaire for people with PD.
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