Thank you for your interest in the MAQ. The MAQ was developed from a systematic review of the effects of oral medicine characteristics on patient preference and adherence.  The systematic review concluded that significantly greater adherence is reported to medication formulations which are preferred by patients.  The review identified key medication characteristics associated with patient formulation preference which have informed the development of the MAQ comprising the following five medication characteristic domains:

  1. Convenience
  2. Taste
  3. Appearance
  4. Efficacy
  5. Tolerability

Each domain contains between two and six questions exploring aspects of the medication’s performance for that characteristic with a 5-point Likert scale response option.  Additionally, each domain contains a question exploring perception of how the medication performs overall for the characteristic with a 10-point Visual Analogue Scale response option. 

The MAQ also provides a global score for overall medication acceptability on a 10-point Visual Analogue Scale.

The MAQ was validated in a study comparing the acceptability of tablet and liquid formulations of alendronic acid in patients admitted to Older People’s Medicine wards in a UK hospital.

Scoring the MAQ

Each item is scored from 1 to 5 (Strongly agree to strongly disagree) with higher scores indicating greater acceptability of the formulation for the domain under investigation.  This score may be combined with the visual analogue score for the domain ranging from 1 to 10 with a higher score indicating greater acceptability.  For domain 5 regarding side effects, the scoring is reversed as the statements are negative.  The global visual analogue scale is scored from 1 to 10 with higher scores indicating greater acceptability. 

The MAQ was developed by Dr Debi Bhattacharya with acknowledgement and thanks to Dr Estelle Payerne, Mr Sion Scott and Ms Nathanny Coriolano of the University of East Anglia, and, Dr Helen May and Ms Kelly Waterfield of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.  The research was funded by unrestricted grants from Xeolas Pharmaceuticals and Rosemont Pharmaceuticals.

1. Estelle Payerne, Debi Bhattacharya.   Identifying the factors that influence patient acceptability of oral medicines: a systematic review of literature. PROSPERO 2013 CRD42013004033 Available from:
2. Scott S, Desborough J, Payerne E, Sokhi J, Twigg M, Wright D, Bhattacharya D.  A systematic review of the effects of oral medicine characteristics on patient preference and adherence.  International Journal of Pharmacy and Practice.  24 (suppl. 3) p 78.

If you would like to know more about the research behind MAQ, please contact us

If you are a commercial organisation and wish to use MAQ for commercial research or for clinical trials or consultations, please contact us via email to obtain a commercial licence

Downloading the questionnaire

If you are a non-commercial organisation you are welcome to download the tool from our licensing platform

Medical Acceptability Questionnaire (MAQ)

Non-commercial organisations will be required to fill in a simple web form before being diverted to the questionnaire. Researchers wishing to use this questionnaire with patients must make their own application for Research Ethics and Trust Management/Research Governance review.  We require the details requested below so that we can comply with monitoring and assessment of the impact of the work on society.  We may only contact you to request feedback of your use of the questionnaire and not for any other purpose.

If you have any difficulties downloading the MAQ, please contact us