Background: The application of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) as a pediatric population health measure may facilitate risk assessment and resource allocation, the tracking of community health, the identification of health disparities, and the determination of health outcomes from interventions and policy decisions.
Objective: To determine the feasibility, reliability, and validity of the 23-item PedsQL 4.0 (Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory) Generic Core Scales as a measure of pediatric population health for children and adolescents.
Design: Mail survey in February and March 2001 to 20 031 families with children ages 2-16 years throughout the State of California encompassing all new enrollees in the State's Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) for those months and targeted language groups.
Methods: The PedsQL 4.0 Generic Core Scales (Physical, Emotional, Social, School Functioning) were completed by 10 241 families through a statewide mail survey to evaluate the HRQOL of new enrollees in SCHIP.
Results: The PedsQL 4.0 evidenced minimal missing responses, achieved excellent reliability for the Total Scale Score (alpha =.89 child;.92 parent report), and distinguished between healthy children and children with chronic health conditions. The PedsQL 4.0 was also related to indicators of health care access, days missed from school, days sick in bed or too ill to play, and days needing care.
Conclusion: The results demonstrate the feasibility, reliability, and validity of the PedsQL 4.0 as a pediatric population health outcome. Measuring pediatric HRQOL may be a way to evaluate the health outcomes of SCHIP.