Objective: Development of the 'Otology Questionnaire Amsterdam' (OQUA), a patient reported outcome measure (PROM), measuring the severity and impact of ear complaints of patients visiting an ENT surgeon. Design: Multicenter, cross-sectional study. Phase 1: qualitative research. In-depth interviews (N = 16) to identify relevant types of ear complaints and to formulate items. Pilot study of the first and second draft of the OQUA (N = 32, N = 39). Phase 2: quantitative research. Field-testing of the OQUA (N = 352). Item reduction based on inter-item correlation, factor analysis and expert opinion. Setting: Two secondary and two tertiary ENT clinics. Participants: Patients over the age of sixteen visiting an ENT surgeon with an ear complaint. Main outcome measures: Phase 1: meaning units and frequency of selected descriptions. Phase 2: inter-item correlation, factor loading and Cronbach's Alpha (α). Results: Phase 1: eight relevant types of ear complaints were identified: earache, pressure in ear, hearing loss, tinnitus, otorrhoea, itch, dizziness and loss of taste. Phase 2: factor analysis generated a factor 'impact' (α = 0.913). The current version of the OQUA consists of 34 items, covers eight types of ear complaints and consists of two constructs: complaints and impact. Conclusion: The OQUA is a generic, otologic PROM designed to evaluate the severity of ear complaints and their impact on patients lives.