Background Currently, there is no generally agreed measure available to quantify a subject's perceived severity of exercise-induced leg pain symptoms. The aim of this study was to develop and validate a questionnaire that measures the severity of symptoms that impact on function and sports ability in patients with exercise-induced leg pain.
Methods The exercise-induced leg pain questionnaire for German-speaking patients (EILP-G) was developed in five steps: (1) initial item generation, (2) item reduction, (3) pretesting, (4) expert meeting and (5) validation. The resulting EILP-G was tested for reliability, validity and internal consistency in 20 patients with exercise-induced leg pain, 20 asymptomatic track and field athletes serving as a population at risk and 33 asymptomatic sport students.
Results The patient group scored the EILP-G questionnaire significantly lower than both control groups (each p<0.001). Test–retest demonstrates an excellent reliability in all tested groups (Intraclass Correlation Coefficient, ICC=0.861–0.987). Concurrent validity of the EILP-G questionnaire showed a substantial agreement when correlated with the chronic exertional compartment syndrome classification system of Schepsis (r=−0.743; p<0.001). Internal consistency for the EILP-G questionnaire was 0.924.
Conclusions EILP-G questionnaire is a valid and reliable self-administered and disease-related outcome tool to measure the severity of symptoms that impact on function and sports ability in patients with exercise-induced leg pain. It can be recommended as a robust tool for measuring the subjectively perceived severity in German-speaking patients with exercise-induced leg pain.