Purpose: We previously developed a pediatric-specific measure of oral mucositis named the Children's International Mucositis Evaluation Scale (ChIMES). Availability as an electronic version may improve self-report response rates. The objectives were to develop an electronic version of ChIMES (eChIMES) and to determine whether the instrument is easy to use, understandable, and suitable for measuring mucositis among children and adolescents with cancer.
Methods: Development of eChIMES was on an iPad; the initial version was piloted with ten children to refine instructions for use and presentation. A crosssectional study then was conducted and included English-speaking children and adolescents 8-18 years of age receiving active treatment for cancer. Participants were shown eCHIMES and were asked to complete it. Questions elicited whether they found eChIMES easy or difficult to use, easy or difficult to understand, and suitable (a good way) for children with cancer to monitor mucositis. Outcomes were rated using five-point ordinal scales.
Results: Following the development and initial refinement of eChIMES, 40 children were enrolled. Median age was 12.4 (range, 8.0 to 17.8) years. The instrument was found to be easy or very easy to use and understood by 40 (100 %) and 38 (95 %) participants, respectively. The application was considered suitable or very suitable for measuring mucositis by 37 (92 %).
Conclusions: We found that eChIMES was easy to use, understandable, and suitable for monitoring mucositis among children with cancer. Incorporation into clinical trials may improve the ability to compare and evaluate interventions for mucositis.