• electronic;
  • quality of life;
  • questionnaire;
  • rhinoconjunctivitis

Background:  As clinicians and pharmaceutical companies move from paper versions of health status questionnaires to electronic versions, it cannot be assumed that adaptations to other media will produce valid data.

Aims:  The aims of this study were to (1) adapt the Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire [RQLQ(S); standardized version], for the Palm Treo 650, (2) test the device for ease and accuracy of understanding and (3) examine the validity of the electronic version by comparing it with the original paper version of the RQLQ(S).

Methods:  Seventy adults with current rhinoconjunctivitis symptoms completed the electronic and paper versions of the RQLQ(S). They were randomized to complete either the paper or the electronic version first. After a 2-h break, they completed the other version.

Results:  Concordance between paper and electronic versions for the overall RQLQ(S) score was acceptable with an intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.95 and there was no evidence of bias (P = 0.13). Concordance for the seven individual domains ranged from 0.86 to 0.94. A small but significant bias was observed in the activity and sleep domains (P = 0.02). Completion times were quicker with paper (4.1 vs 4.9 min, P < 0.0001). About 51% of patients preferred electronic, 17% preferred paper and 31% had no preference.

Conclusions:  This electronic version of the RQLQ(S) was easy for patients to use and the concordance between paper and this version on the Palm Treo 650 provides evidence of the validity of this electronic version.