Field testing of a European quality of life instrument for children and adolescents with chronic conditions: the 37-item DISABKIDS Chronic Generic Module

Qual Life Res. 2007 Jun;16(5):881-93. doi: 10.1007/s11136-007-9188-2. Epub 2007 Apr 3.


Objectives: The aim of this study was to shorten the Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQL) DISABKIDS Chronic Generic Measure (DCGM) for children and adolescents and to test its reliability, construct, and external validity.

Study design: 1153 children and adolescents (8-16 years) with chronic health conditions (asthma, arthritis, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, diabetes, atopic dermatitis, cystic fibrosis) and their family were recruited from different paediatric clinical settings in seven European countries. A two-time assessment comprised reports on sociodemographics, health status and HRQL of children/adolescents.

Results: The 37-item DCGM describes six dimensions (Independence, Physical Limitation, Emotion, Social Inclusion, Social Exclusion and Treatment) confirmed by Confirmatory Factor Analysis, multi-item scaling and item-goodness of fit to Rasch model. Internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha: 0.70-0.87) and test-retest reliability (ICC: 0.71-0.83) were satisfactory. Correlations between DCGM-37 and other HRQL instruments were the highest between dimensions evaluating similar concepts. Regarding discriminant validity of the DCGM-37, girls and older adolescents reported lower emotional we ll-being. Children belonging to families with low level of affluence and those with severe health conditions were found to have worse HRQL in all domains.

Conclusion: Reliability, construct validity as well as convergent and discriminant validity of the DCGM-37 were shown.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Chronic Disease / ethnology
  • Chronic Disease / psychology*
  • Culture*
  • Demography
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychometrics / instrumentation*
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Sickness Impact Profile*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*