Development of the Cold Urticaria Activity Score

The ColdUAS development process was directed by PROM guidelines. For item generation 47 interviews with ColdU patients and a comprehensive literature research was performed. By conducting an impact analysis, cognitive debriefings, and an expert review final items were selected. The 4-item ColdUAS is the first self-administered questionnaire for the prospective assessment of disease activity in ColdU patients. Abbreviations: ColdU, Cold urticaria; ColdUAS, Cold Urticaria Activity Score; PROM, patient-reported outcome measures


Cold urticaria (ColdU) is a form of inducible urticaria where cold induces wheals and/or angioedema. The burden of disease is high and linked to trigger thresholds, exposure, and avoidance. There are presently no validated patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) to assess and monitor disease activity. Our objective was to develop a disease-specific activity score for ColdU that is easy to administer and evaluate.


A Cold Urticaria Activity Score (ColdUAS) questionnaire was developed, directed by PROM developing guidelines. After the generation of a conceptional framework, the item generation phase included the literature research on ColdU signs and symptoms and on comparable tools for similar diseases and 47 ColdU patient interviews. Subsequently, an impact analysis for content validity was performed. The final selection of items underwent expert review for face validity and cognitive debriefing.


The ColdUAS, a self-administered questionnaire for the prospective assessment of disease activity in patients with ColdU, consists of 4 items: 1. the frequency and severity of the signs (wheals and/or angioedema), 2. the frequency and severity of the symptoms (e.g., itch and burn), 3. the exposure to specific triggers, and 4. the avoidance of these triggers. The recall period for each item is the last 24 h.


The ColdUAS is the first disease-specific PROM to assess ColdU disease activity. It may help to better assess patients' disease status in routine clinical practice as well as in clinical trials. Anchor-based approaches are currently used to validate the ColdUAS.