Development and psychometric properties of the Maastricht Personal Autonomy Questionnaire (MPAQ) in older adults with a chronic physical illness

G.M.J. Mars, J.T.M. van Eijk, M.W.M. Post, I.M. Proot, I. Mesters, G.I.J.M. Kempen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


To develop and test the Maastricht Personal Autonomy Questionnaire (MPAQ), an instrument measuring personal autonomy of older adults with a chronic physical illness in accordance with their experience of autonomy. Achievement of personal autonomy is conceptualized as correspondence between the way people's lives are actually arranged and the way people want to arrange their lives.

A field test was conducted in three waves (n = 412, n = 125 and n = 244) among a random sample of people older than 59 years with either chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or diabetes mellitus. Construct validity, reproducibility and responsiveness were evaluated.

The MPAQ entailing 16 items consists of three scales: degree of (personal) autonomy, working on autonomy and dilemmas. Construct validity was largely supported by confirmatory factor analysis and correlations between the MPAQ and other instruments. Intraclass correlation coefficients ranged from 0.61 to 0.80 and SRDs(group) from 0.10 to 0.13. Mean change was larger (0.54) than was SRDgroup (0.11) in patients who had deteriorated, but smaller in patients who had improved (0.07).

The MPAQ has good content and construct validity and moderate reproducibility. Responsiveness is weak, although better for deterioration than for improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1777-1787
Number of pages11
JournalQuality of Life Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014


  • Chronic disease
  • Personal autonomy
  • Psychometrics
  • COPD
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Aged
  • CARE
  • ILL

Cite this