• Article

Development of a frequent heartburn index


Stull, D., van Hanswijck de Jonge, P., Houghton, K., Kocun, C., & Sandor, D. W. (2011). Development of a frequent heartburn index. Quality of Life Research, 20(7), 1023-1034. DOI: 10.1007/s11136-010-9840-0


The aim of this study is to develop and validate a brief instrument for the measurement of overall psychosocial impact of frequent heartburn (heartburn experienced 2+ times weekly) in the general US population, yielding a single, composite score.
Item reduction and psychometric analyses of an existing Frequent Heartburn (FHB) Survey, a 52-item, 13-domain, patient-reported outcomes (PRO) survey assessing the impact of frequent heartburn on psychosocial quality of life.
Item reduction resulted in 9 items from the original FHB Survey measuring all domains. All retained items in this full Frequent Heartburn Index (FHBI-Full) had moderate to strong factor loadings on the underlying factor (range: 0.66–0.85) and acceptable overall model fit (CFI = 0.93, SRMR = 0.04). Coefficient alpha was 0.92. A shorter FHBI (FHBI-Brief) was created that excludes the two employment-related items. The FHBI-Brief had a coefficient alpha of 0.90.
Both FHBI versions have good psychometric properties and capture a full range of psychosocial effects of frequent heartburn. Normed national scores for the FHBI are available against which an individual can compare their own FHBI score. The FHBI-Full and FHBI-Brief show promise as PRO instruments that may help individuals and clinicians better understand the effect of frequent heartburn on psychosocial functioning.