Objective: Clinimetric evaluation of the Dutch version of the RAND general health rating index for children (child RAND), measuring the general health of children.
Method: The child RAND, containing 7 questions, was administered to parents of 124 children with asthma and of an unselected control group of 224 children, all between 6 months and 12 years of age. The parents also answered a question about the existence of complaints about health. Measurements were repeated after 24 hours and after one month. We tested internal consistency, test-retest reliability, discriminant validity and sensitivity to change. Results were compared with those of the Functional status II (FS II).
Results: The child RAND showed good reliability and validity. Cronbach's alpha was between 0.87 and 0.88 in the asthma group and between 0.71 and 0.80 in the control group. Test-retest reliability was 0.93 in the asthma group and 0.83 in the control group. Scores on the child RAND of children with asthma were significantly lower than those of children in the control group, and scores of children with health complaints were significantly lower than those of children without any health complaints in both groups. The sensitivity to change was lower than that of the FS II. The figures of the child RAND on the other measures of reliability and validity were comparable with those of the FS II.
Conclusion: The Dutch child RAND is recommended as a generic measure of perceived health of children for medical research and may serve as a valuable addition to the measurement of functional health status by the FS II.