The first step to integrating the child's voice in adverse event reporting in oncology trials: a content validation study among pediatric oncology clinicians

Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2013 Jul;60(7):1231-6. doi: 10.1002/pbc.24463. Epub 2013 Jan 17.


Purpose: Children with cancer experience significant toxicities while undergoing treatment. Documentation of adverse events (AEs) in clinical trials is mandated by federal agencies. Although many AEs are subjective, the current standard is clinician reporting. Our long-term goal is to create and validate a self-report measure of subjective AEs for children aged 7 years and older that will inform AE reporting for the National Cancer Institute's Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE). This content validation study aimed to identify which of the AEs in the current CTCAE should be included in a pediatric self-report measure.

Methods: We sought expert panel review and consensus among 187 pediatric clinicians from seven Children's Oncology Group institutions to determine which of the 790 AEs are amenable to child self-report. Two survey iterations were used to identify suitable AEs, and clinician agreement estimated by the content-validity ratio (CVR) was assessed.

Results: Response rates for surveys 1 and 2 were 72% and 67%, respectively. After the surveys, 64 CTCAE terms met the criteria of being subjective, relevant for use in pediatric cancer trials, and amenable to self-report by a child. The most frequent reasons for removal of CTCAE terms were that they relied on laboratory or clinical measures or were not applicable to children.

Conclusion: The 64 CTCAE terms will be translated into child-friendly terms as the basis of the child-report toxicity measure. Ultimately, systematic collection of these data will improve care by enhancing the accuracy and completeness of treatment toxicity reports for childhood cancer.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adverse Drug Reaction Reporting Systems*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Child
  • Clinical Trials as Topic*
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Pediatrics / methods*
  • Radiotherapy / adverse effects
  • Research Design*
  • Self Report*


  • Antineoplastic Agents