Background: Objectives were to describe the reliability and validity of a new paediatric-specific mucositis scale, the Children's International Mucositis Evaluation Scale (ChIMES).
Methods: In a multi-centre prospective study, children aged 0 to ≤18 years were eligible if they were receiving any of the following: myeloablative stem cell transplantation (SCT), ≥60 mg m(-2) course(-1) doxorubicin or ≥12 g m(-2) methotrexate. Multiple measures of mucositis were included along with ChIMES. Respondents were parent proxy report for children aged <12 years, and child self-report for children aged 12-18 years and 8 to <12 years. Mucositis diaries were completed at baseline and on Days 7-17 following chemotherapy/conditioning. On Day 14, the respondent reported presence of mucositis and change since the previous day.
Results: The 185 respondents included parents (N=98), children aged 12-18 years (N=66) and children aged 8 to <12 years (N=21). Test-retest reliability was excellent for ChIMES Total Score and ChIMES Percentage Score with r>0.8 for all respondent types. Criteria for construct validation were met across all measures. ChIMES also demonstrated responsiveness with significant differences between baseline and Day 14.
Conclusion: ChIMES is a paediatric-specific measure of mucositis with favourable psychometric properties. It exhibits reliability, construct validity and responsiveness. ChIMES should be incorporated into clinical trials of mucositis prevention and treatment in paediatric cancer and SCT.