Contemporary diagnostic procedures for knee osteoarthritis (OA) diagnose patients late in the disease. A questionnaire could be a useful and inexpensive way to screen for early symptoms of knee OA. The authors aim for this study was to develop a short, self-administered questionnaire for clinical and research settings to identify emerging knee problems in people who could benefit from conservative interventions. The generated questionnaire items from interview data from individuals with emerging chronic knee problems. These items were then reviewed by 16 rheumatology experts to result in a 35-item draft questionnaire. To reduce the number of items, these were mailed to 228 adults aged 40 to 65 years with evidence of ongoing knee problems. One hundred and thirteen completed questionnaires were returned (63.1% response rate), with 105 usable questionnaires. Using principal components analysis, the number of items was reduced to a final 13-item version, the Questionnaire to Identify Knee symptoms (QuIKS). The QuIKS had four subscales: Medications, Monitoring, Interpreting, and Modifying. The QuIKS demonstrated strong internal consistency. A sampling bias among respondents who provided data for item reduction likely means that the QuIKS reflects those who self-report knee problems to a healthcare provider, which may not be a generalisation applicable to the entire population.
The QuIKS is a short, self-administered questionnaire that identifies the experiences associated with early symptoms consistent with knee OA, such as monitoring intermittent symptoms, interpreting the meaning of these symptoms, modifying behaviours, including the use of medications, to promote activity. The authors concluded that if further examination validates the QuIKS, its use in developing samples could broaden our understanding of early disease and improve interventions.