Validation of the Cantonese Version of the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Body Constitution Questionnaire in Elderly People

Yiu Lin Wong, Jialing Zhang, Xingyao Wu, Suet Yee Wong, Zheng Wang, Linda Zhong, Zhaoxiang Bian*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


Background: The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Body Constitution Questionnaire (For Elderly People) (TCMECQ) is a patient-reported outcome questionnaire developed in Mandarin in 2013 to differentiate the body constitutions of the elderly aged 65 and above. Considering the cultural and linguistic differences between Mainland China and Hong Kong (HK) Special Administrative Region, the TCMECQ was translated into Cantonese following “back translation” policy and validated in proper process. Methods: Ten Chinese Medicine Practitioners (CMPs) and 30 senior citizens aged 65 or above were recruited to evaluate the first version of the Traditional Chinese Medicine Body Constitution Questionnaire (For Elderly People) (Cantonese version) (TCMECQ-C). Based on their comments, the second version was developed and discussed in the panel meeting to form the third version, validated the third version on 270 recruited seniors. Based on the validation results, a panel of 5 experts finalized the Questionnaire as the final version. The TCMECQ-C developers finalized the Questionnaire as the validated endorsed third version (i.e. final version). Results: The item-level content validity index of most items of the TCMECQ-C (First Version) were ranging from 0.80 to 1.00 in terms of clarity, relevance and appropriateness. Factor loadings of Qi-deficiency Constitution ranging from 0.37 to 0.71, Yang-deficiency Constitution ranging from 0.36 to 0.65, Yin-deficiency Constitution ranging from 0.36 to 0.65, and Stagnant Qi Constitution ranging from 0.68 to 0.82. The chi-squared degree-of-freedom ratio was 2.13 (928.63/436), Goodness-of-Fit Index (0.83), Adjusted Goodness-of-Fit Index (0.79), Normed Fit Index (0.66), Comparative Fit Index (0.78), Incremental Fit Index (0.78), Relative Fit Index (0.61) and Tucker–Lewis Index (0.75), and Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (0.07) and Standardized Root Mean Square Residual (0.07), implied acceptable Confirmatory Factor Analysis model fit of the overall scale. A Pearson correlation coefficient (r) showed the sufficient convergent validity for excessive subscales (Phlegm-dampness Constitution and Dampness-heat Constitution with r = 0.35, p < 0.01). Cronbach’s alpha coefficient ranged from 0.56 to 0.89, including Qi-deficiency Constitution (0.67), Yang-deficiency Constitution (0.84), Yin-deficiency Constitution (0.59), Stagnant Blood Constitution (0.56), Stagnant Qi Constitution (0.89), Inherited Special Constitution (0.76) and Balanced Constitution (0.73), indicating acceptable internal consistency for subscales. The intra-class correlation coefficients of the TCMECQ-C ranged from 0.70 to 0.87 (p < 0.001), indicating moderate to good test–retest reliability. Conclusion: TCMECQ-C is a valid and reliable questionnaire for assessing the body constitution in Cantonese elderly.

Original languageEnglish
Article number129
Number of pages19
JournalChinese Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Pharmacology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Construct validity
  • Intra-class correlation coefficients
  • Factor analysis
  • Body constitution
  • Cronbach’s alpha
  • Content validity


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