The European KIDSCREEN approach to measure quality of life and well-being in children: development, current application, and future advances

Qual Life Res. 2014 Apr;23(3):791-803. doi: 10.1007/s11136-013-0428-3. Epub 2013 May 18.


Purpose: The KIDSCREEN questionnaires were developed by a collaborative effort of European pediatric researchers for use in epidemiologic public health surveys, clinical intervention studies, and research projects. The article gives an overview of the development of the tool, summarizes its extensive applications in Europe, and describes the development of a new computerized adaptive test (KIDS-CAT) based on KIDSCREEN experiences.

Methods: The KIDSCREEN versions (self-report and proxy versions with 52, 27, and 10 items) were simultaneously developed in 13 different European countries to warrant cross-cultural applicability, using methods based on classical test theory (CTT: descriptive statistics, CFA and MAP, internal consistency, retest reliability measures) and item response theory (IRT: Rasch modeling, DIF analyses, etc.). The KIDS-CAT was developed (in cooperation with the US pediatric PROMIS project) based on archival data of European KIDSCREEN health surveys using IRT more extensively (IRC).

Results: Research has shown that the KIDSCREEN is a reliable, valid, sensitive, and conceptually/linguistically appropriate QoL measure in 38 countries/languages by now. European and national norm data are available. New insights from KIDSCREEN studies stimulate pediatric health care. Based on KIDSCREEN, the Kids-CAT promises to facilitate a very efficient, precise, as well as reliable and valid assessment of QoL.

Conclusions: The KIDSCREEN has standardized QoL measurement in Europe in children as a valid and cross-cultural comparable tool. The Kids-CAT has the potential to further advance pediatric health measurement and care via Internet application.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Epidemiologic Research Design
  • Europe
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Female
  • Health Behavior* / ethnology
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Outcome Assessment
  • Pediatrics*
  • Program Development
  • Psychometrics / organization & administration
  • Psychometrics / standards*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Software Design
  • Surveys and Questionnaires