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The Menopause Rating Scale (MRS) as outcome measure for hormone treatment? A validation study

Lothar AJ Heinemann1*, Thai DoMinh1, Frank Strelow2, Silvia Gerbsch2, Jörg Schnitker3 and Hermann PG Schneider4

Author Affiliations

1 Center for Epidemiology & Health Research Berlin, Invalidenstr. 115, 10115 Berlin, German

2 Schering Deutschland GmbH, Max-Dohrn-Str. 10, 10589 Berlin, Germany

3 Institut für Angewandte Statistik, Artur-Ladebeck-Str.155, 33647 Bielefeld, Germany

4 University Muenster, Dept. Obstetrics and Gynecology, Von-Esmarch-Strasse 56, 48149 Muenster, Germany

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Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 2004, 2:67  doi:10.1186/1477-7525-2-67

Published: 22 November 2004



The Menopause Rating Scale is a health-related Quality of Life scale developed in the early 1990s and step-by-step validated since then. No methodologically detailed work on the utility of the scale to assess health-related changes after treatment was published before.


We analysed an open, uncontrolled post-marketing study with over 9000 women with pre- and post-treatment data of the MRS scale to critically evaluate the capacity of the scale to measure the health-related effects of hormone treatment independent from the severity of complaints at baseline.


The improvement of complaints during treatment relative to the baseline score was 36% in average. Patients with little/no complaints before therapy improved by 11%, those with mild complaints at entry by 32%, with moderate by 44%, and with severe symptoms by 55% – compared with the baseline score. We showed that the distribution of complaints in women before therapy returned to norm values after 6 months of hormone treatment. We also provided weak evidence that the MRS results may well predict the assessment of the treating physician. Limitations of the study, however, may have lead to overestimating the utility of the MRS scale as outcome measure.


The MRS scale showed some evidence for its ability to measure treatment effects on quality of life across the full range of severity of complaints in aging women. This however needs confirmation in other and better-designed clinical/outcome studies.

MRS; Menopause; Hormone treatment; Validity; health-related Quality of Life; Questionnaire