Our purpose is to report the development and psychometric properties of a generic computer-delivered measure of health-related quality of life (HRQL) suitable for children aged 6 to 11 years, the Exeter HRQL scale (EHRQL). The theoretical model adopted is based on a definition of HRQL which assumes that HRQL is the result of discrepancies between an individual's actual self and ideal self. The EHRQL consists of 16 pictures, each of which is rated twice, first in terms of "like me" and second as "I would like to be". The difference between these scores is assumed to be indicative of HRQL. The EHRQL is delivered using a Macintosh Powerbook and takes approximately 20 min. Data are reported for 60 children with asthma (mean age = 8.93 years) and 69 healthy children (mean age = 7.49 years). In addition, children with asthma completed the Childhood Asthma Questionnaire (CAQ) and a measure of self-efficacy. For children with asthma, significant correlations were found between discrepancy scores and 3 of the 4 subscales of the CAQ. In addition, higher discrepancies were found for children with asthma compared with healthy children (p < 0.05). The EHRQL has acceptable internal reliability, and these data provide preliminary support for the theoretical assumption that HRQL reflects perceived discrepancies between an individual's actual self and ideal self. The measure also distinguished, as predicted, between children with asthma and healthy children. Methodological refinements to the EHRQL are suggested.
Copyright 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.