Purpose: Patients who undergo radical surgery for rectal cancer often experience low anterior resection syndrome (LARS). Symptoms of this syndrome include frequent bowel movements, gas incontinence, fecal incontinence, fragmentation, and urgency. The aim of this study was to investigate the convergent validity, discriminative validity, and reliability of the Korean version of the LARS score questionnaire. Methods: The English LARS score questionnaire was translated into Korean using the forward-and-back translation method. A total of 146 patients who underwent radical surgery for rectal cancer answered the Korean version of the LARS score questionnaire including an anchor question assessing the impact of bowel function. Participants answered the questionnaire once more after 2 weeks. Results: The Korean LARS score questionnaire showed high convergent validity in terms of high correlation between the LARS score and quality of life (perfect fit 55.5% vs. moderate fit 37.6% vs. no fit 6.8%, respectively; P < 0.001). The LARS score also showed good discriminative validity between groups of patients differing by sex (29 for males vs. 25 for females; P = 0.014), tumor level (29 for ≤8 cm vs. 24 for >8 cm; P = 0.021), and radiotherapy (32 for yes vs. 24 for no; P = 0.001). The LARS score also demonstrated high reliability at test-retest with no difference between scores at the first and second tests (intraclass correlation coefficient: Q1 = 0.932; Q2 = 0.909, Q3 = 0.944, Q4 = 0.931, and Q5 = 0.942; P < 0.001, respectively). Conclusion: The Korean version of the LARS score questionnaire has proven to be a valid and reliable tool for measuring LARS in Korean patients with rectal cancer.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean Government Ministry of Education (No. 2017R1D1A1B03030948).
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