Validity of the childhood health assessment questionnaire is independent of age in juvenile idiopathic arthritis

Arthritis Rheum. 2004 Aug 15;51(4):519-26. doi: 10.1002/art.20529.


Objective: To determine whether the Childhood Health Assessment Questionnaire (CHAQ) is valid for the comparison of different age subgroups and for longitudinal studies in juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).

Methods: A CHAQ was administered to 306 children with JIA. Rasch analyses were used to compare the difficulty of each of the 30 items of the questionnaire for children of 2 age groups (> or =10 years old and <10 years old).

Results: Independent of the physical disability level assessed by the Rasch model, 8 of the 30 items (27%) of the CHAQ were rated significantly different in the 2 age groups. Despite this age-related variation in item difficulty, the impact on the CHAQ disability index using its original scoring system remained low (about 0.25 points on a scale of 0-3).

Conclusion: The difficulty of 8 of 30 items of the CHAQ depends on the respondent's age. Nevertheless, the design of the CHAQ and its scoring system remove most of the expected physical development bias.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Arthritis, Juvenile / diagnosis*
  • Arthritis, Juvenile / physiopathology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Severity of Illness Index*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*