Author(s): Heinemann K, Ruebig A, Potthoff P, Schneider HP, Strelow F,
Abstract BACKGROUND: This paper compiles data from different sources to get a first comprehensive picture of psychometric and other methodological characteristics of the Menopause Rating Scale (MRS) scale. The scale was designed and standardized as a self-administered scale to (a) to assess symptoms/complaints of aging women under different conditions, (b) to evaluate the severity of symptoms over time, and (c) to measure changes pre- and postmenopause replacement therapy. The scale became widespread used (available in 10 languages). METHOD: A large multinational survey (9 countries in 4 continents) from 2001/ 2002 is the basis for in depth analyses on reliability and validity of the MRS. Additional small convenience samples were used to get first impressions about test-retest reliability. The data were centrally analyzed. Data from a postmarketing HRT study were used to estimate discriminative validity. RESULTS: Reliability measures (consistency and test-retest stability) were found to be good across countries, although the sample size for test-retest reliability was small. VALIDITY: The internal structure of the MRS across countries was astonishingly similar to conclude that the scale really measures the same phenomenon in symptomatic women. The sub-scores and total score correlations were high (0.7-0.9) but lower among the sub-scales (0.5-0.7). This however suggests that the subscales are not fully independent. Norm values from different populations were presented showing that a direct comparison between Europe and North America is possible, but caution recommended with comparisons of data from Latin America and Indonesia. But this will not affect intra-individual comparisons within clinical trials. The comparison with the Kupperman Index showed sufficiently good correlations, illustrating an adept criterion-oriented validity. The same is true for the comparison with the generic quality-of-life scale SF-36 where also a sufficiently close association has been shown. CONCLUSION: The currently available methodological evidence points towards a high quality of the MRS scale to measure and to compare HRQoL of aging women in different regions and over time, it suggests a high reliability and high validity as far as the process of construct validation could be completed yet.