Multimorbidity Treatment Burden Questionnaire
The Multimorbidity Treatment Burden Questionnaire (MTBQ) is a 10-item questionnaire designed to measure treatment burden (the effort of looking after one’s health) in patients with multimorbidity (multiple long-term conditions) in primary care.
What is the MTBQ?
The Multimorbidity Treatment Burden Questionnaire (MTBQ) is a concise, simply-worded set of questions to measure treatment burden in people with multimorbidity. It has been designed for use in primary care research to assess the effects of interventions that might increase or decrease treatment burden. It is based on an existing evidence-based framework and was tested as part of the 3D Study.
Treatment burden is defined as a patient’s perception of the effort required to manage their health conditions and the impact that this has on their general well-being and day-to-day life. This includes coordinating healthcare appointments, taking multiple medicines, self-monitoring their health and making lifestyle changes.
There are two versions of the questionnaire: a 10-item version and a 13-item version. The three additional questions in the 13-item questionnaire (questions 3, 9 and 10) are optional. They are included because, although not relevant to the study population in which the questionnaire was tested (see the 3D study for more information), they may be useful for other patient groups. For example, one of the questions is about cost of treatment but the majority of participants in the 3D Study did not have to pay for prescriptions or other health treatment.
Who is it for?
The MTBQ is for primary care and other healthcare and health service researchers who need to measure what impact interventions that they are testing have on patients' treatment burden. Further work is neeed to validate use of the MTBQ in a clinical setting.
How to access the MTBQ and register as a user
The MTBQ is available free for non-commercial use only and is licensed under a MTBQ licence (Office document, 63kB). The terms of this licence state that the MTBQ must not be adapted, translated or otherwise adjusted without first seeking prior approval from the authors. The University of Bristol will retain rights to any adapted or translated versions.
If you would like to use the MTBQ, please complete the MTBQ registration form (Office document, 12kB) and return this to: firstname.lastname@example.org. You will then be sent a licensed copy of the MTBQ. In the meantime, you can access the:
How to use the MTBQ
For information on how to score, report and interpret the MTBQ, please see the MTBQ user guide (PDF, 159kB).
Scoring of the MTBQ
Each question is scored as follows: zero (not difficult/ does not apply), one (a little difficult), two (quite difficult), three (very difficult), four (extremely difficult). Participants should be excluded if more than 50% of their responses are missing. To calculate a global score, each participant’s average score is calculated from the questions answered and multiplied by 25 to give a score from 0-100.
Interpreting the global MTBQ score
We generated four categories of treatment burden by grouping global MTBQ scores greater than 0 into tertiles: no burden (score 0), low burden (score <10), medium burden (10-22), high burden (>=22).
Reporting of global MTBQ scores
We recommend that, due to the skewness of global MTBQ scores, researchers should report the median or interquartile range rather than the mean and SD, and report the proportion of patients with high, medium, low or no treatment burden (global MTBQ scores ≥ 22, 10-22, <10 and 0 respectively).
How was it developed?
The measure was comprehensively tested using international standards for developing and validating questionnaires. A key strength of the MTBQ is that it was validated in a large sample of the population for whom it is intended: elderly multimorbid patients with a mean age of 71 years and three or more long-term conditions. These patients were participants in the 3D Study, which aimed to improve the care of patients with multiple long-term conditions in general practice.
Duncan P, Murphy M, Man M-S, et al. Development and validation of the Multimorbidity Treatment Burden Questionnaire (MTBQ). BMJ Open. 2018. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-019413
The MTBQ has been translated into Danish for use in the Central Denmark health survey, a large cross-sectional population study.
The English version of the MTBQ is currently being used in a number of trials.