Open access The Long-Term Conditions Questionnaire (LTCQ): initial validation survey among primary care patients and social care recipients in England

Caroline Potter, Laurie Batchelder, Christine A'Court, Louise Geneen, Laura Kelly, Diane Fox, Matthew Baker, Jennifer Bostock, Angela Coulter, Ray Fitzpatrick, Julien Forder, Elizabeth Gibbons, Crispin Jenkinson, Karen Jones, Michele Peters (2017)

BMJ Open

Available online: 3 November 2017


Objective. The aim of this study was to validate a new generic patient-reported outcome measure, the Long-Term Conditions Questionnaire (LTCQ), among a diverse sample of health and social care users in England.

Design. Cross-sectional validation survey. Data were collected through postal surveys (February 2016–January 2017). The sample included a healthcare cohort of patients recruited through primary care practices, and a social care cohort recruited through local government bodies that provide social care services.

Participants. 1211 participants (24% confirmed social care recipients) took part in the study. Healthcare participants were recruited on the basis of having one of 11 specified long-term conditions (LTCs), and social care participants were recruited on the basis of receiving social care support for at least one LTC. The sample exhibited high multimorbidity, with 93% reporting two or more LTCs and 43% reporting a mental health condition.

Outcome measures. The LTCQ’s construct validity was tested with reference to the EQ-5D (5-level version), the Self-Efficacy for Managing Chronic Disease scale, an Activities of Daily Living scale and the Bayliss burden of morbidity scale.

Results. Low levels of missing data for each item indicate acceptability of the LTCQ across the sample. The LTCQ exhibits high internal consistency (Cronbach’s ?=0.95) across the scale’s 20 items and excellent test–retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient=0.94, 95% CI 0.93 to 0.95). Associations between the LTCQ and all reference measures were moderate to strong and in the expected directions, indicating convergent construct validity.

Conclusions. This study provides evidence for the reliability and validity of the LTCQ, which has potential for use in both health and social care settings. The LTCQ could meet a need for holistic outcome measurement that goes beyond symptoms and physical function, complementing existing measures to capture fully what it means to live well with LTCs.