Construct validity of the pediatric evaluation of disability inventory computer adaptive test (PEDI-CAT) in children with medical complexity

Disabil Rehabil. 2017 Nov;39(23):2446-2451. doi: 10.1080/09638288.2016.1226406. Epub 2016 Sep 19.


Purpose: To assess construct (convergent and divergent) validity of the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory Computer Adaptive Test (PEDI-CAT) in a sample of children with complex medical conditions.

Method: Demographics, clinical information, PEDI-CAT normative score, and the Post-Acute Acuity Rating for Children (PAARC) level were collected for all post-acute hospital admissions (n = 110) from 1 April 2015 to 1 March 2016. Correlations between the PEDI-CAT Daily Activities, Mobility, and Social/Cognitive domain scores for the total sample and across three age groups (infant, preschool, and school-age) were calculated. Differences in mean PEDI-CAT scores for each domain across two groups, children with "Less Complexity," or "More Complexity" based on PAARC level were examined.

Results: All correlations for the total sample and age subgroups were statistically significant and trends across age groups were evident with the stronger associations between domains for the infant group. Significant differences were found between mean PEDI-CAT Daily Activities, Mobility, and Social/Cognitive normative scores across the two complexity groups with children in the "Less Complex" group having higher PEDI-CAT scores for all domains.

Conclusion: This study provides evidence indicating the PEDI-CAT can be used with confidence in capturing and differentiating children's level of function in a post-acute care setting. Implications for Rehabilitation The PEDI-CAT is measure of function for children with a variety of conditions and can be used in any clinical setting. Convergent validity of the PEDI-CAT's Daily Activities, Mobility, and Social/Cognitive domains was significant and particularly strong for infants and young children with medical complexity. The PEDI-CAT was able to discriminate groups of children with differing levels of medical complexity admitted to a pediatric post-acute care hospital.

Keywords: Hospitals; measure; pediatric; validity.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aftercare / methods
  • Aftercare / psychology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Disabled Children / rehabilitation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Mobility Limitation
  • Patient Care Planning
  • Reproducibility of Results