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DePaul Symptom Questionnaire (DSQ)
Please visit this website for more information about the instrument:
The DePaul Symptom Questionnaire can be downloaded from the REDCap shared library.
Core: Myalgic encephalomyelitis/Chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS)
Short Description of Instrument
The DePaul Symptom Questionnaire (DSQ) is a comprehensive, 99-item self-report measure of ME/CFS symptomatology based on 4 CFS definitions (Fukuda, et al., 1994, Canadian, International Consensus Criteria, and Institute of Medicine (2015)). It includes questions on demographics, symptomatology, and occupational, social and medical history.  
The DSQ has been used in multiple countries including US, Japan, Norway, England, Mexico, Iran and others (and translated in multiple languages). Several independent research sites have administered the DSQ and contributed the resulting data to a large sample of individuals with ME/CFS; at the time of this writing, the sample exceeds 1,200 participants. Additional studies have collected DSQ data from individuals with ME/CFS, multiple sclerosis, and post-polio syndrome, allowing for the comparison of these illness groups. A number of papers have examined the psychometric properties of this instrument.
Ages: 18–65
Time to complete: 30–50 minutes
Psychometic properties: correlates with other similar measures, demonstrates test-retest reliability, correlates with physician diagosis of ME/CFS
Scoring algorithms can help support the conclusion that a person meets certain case definitions, including the Fukuda et al., 1994 Canadian Consensus Criteria, ME-ICC, IOM, and others.
Participants rate each symptom's frequency over the past six months on a 5-point likert scale: 0=none of the time, 1=a little of the time, 2=about half the time, 3=most of the time, and 4=all of the time.
Participants rate each symptom's severity over the past six months on a 5-point likert scale: 0=symptom not present, 1=mild, 2=moderate, 3=severe, 4=very severe.
The instrument, threshold for symptoms, and syntax for scoring can be found at Jason and Sunnquist (2018). A pediatric version is also available. There are different scoring algorithms, each supporting different underlying factor structures and pertinent domains (e.g., autonomic, immune, gastrointestinal). See one example at Klimas et al. Fatigue: Biomed Health Behav 2015;3:75-96 and several studies by Jason et al. (Jason & Sunnquist 2018, Jason & Sunnquist et al. 2015 and Brown & Jason 2014).
The DSQ is a validated instrument that has been used fairly extensively for ME/CFS research.
Brown AA, Jason LA. Validating a measure of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome symptomatology. Fatigue: Biomed Health Behav. 2014;2(3):132-152.
Carruthers BM, Jain AK, De Meirleir KL, Peterson DL, Klimas NG, Lerner AM, Bested AC, Flor-Henry P, Joshi P, Powles ACP, Sherkey JA, van de Sande MI. Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Clinical Working Case Definition, Diagnostic and Treatment Protocols. J Chronic Fatigue Syndr. 2003;11:7-116.
Carruthers BM, van de Sande MI, De Meirleir KL, Klimas NG, Broderick G, Mitchell T, Staines D, Powles AC, Speight N, Vallings R, Bateman L, Baumgarten-Austrheim B, Bell DS, Carlo-Stella N, Chia J, Darragh A, Jo D, Lewis D, Light AR, Marshall-Gradisbik S, Mena I, Mikovits JA, Miwa K, Murovska M, Pall ML, Stevens S. Myalgic encephalomyelitis: International Consensus Criteria. J Intern Med. 2011;270(4):327-338.
Fukuda K, Straus SE, Hickie I, Sharpe MC, Dobbins JG, Komaroff A. The chronic fatigue syndrome: a comprehensive approach to its definition and study. International Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Study Group. Ann Intern Med. 1994;121(12):953-959.
Institute of Medicine. Beyond Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Redefining an Illness. Washington DC: National Academies Press; 2015.
Jason LA, So S, Brown AA, Sunnquist M, Evans M. Test-Retest Reliability of the DePaul Symptom Questionnaire. Fatigue: Biomed Health Behav. 2015;3(1):16-32.
Jason LA, Sunnquist M, Brown A, Furst J, Cid M, Farietta J, Kot B, Bloomer C, Nicholson L, Williams Y, Jantke R, Newton JL, Strand EB. Factor Analysis of the DePaul Symptom Questionnaire: Identifying Core Domains. J Neurol Neurobiol. 2015;1(4).
Jason LA & Sunnquist M. The Development of the DePaul Symptom Questionnaire: Original, Expanded, Brief and Pediatric Versions. Manuscript submitted for publication. 2018.
Klimas NG, Ironson G, Carter A, Balbin E, Bateman L, Felsenstein D, Levine S, Peterson D, Chiu K, Allen A, Cunningham K, Gottschalk CG, Fletcher M, Hornig M, Canning C, Komaroff AL. Findings from a clinical and laboratory database developed for discovery of pathogenic mechanisms in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome. Fatigue: Biomed Health Behav 2015;3(2): 75-96.
Murdock KW, Wang XS, Shi Q, Cleeland CS, Fagundes CP, Vernon SD. The utility of patient-reported outcome measures among patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome. Qual Life Res. 2017;26(4):913-921.
Strand EB, LillestØl K, Jason LA, Tveito, K, Diep LM, Valla SS, Sunnquist M, Helland IB, Herder I, Dammen T. Comparing the DePaul Symptom Questionnaire with physician assessments: a preliminary study. Fatigue: Biomed Health Behav. 2016;4:52-62.


Document last updated April 2020