COSMIN database

Characteristics of health-related self-report measures for children aged three to eight years: a review of the literature

Cremeens, J., Eiser, C., and Blades, M.
AIMS: To review and make recommendations about the format and quality of health-related self-report measures for children aged 3-8 years.

METHODS: Literature searches used to identify measures of QOL, self-esteem, self-concept and mental health. The format (i.e., scale type, presentation style) and quality (i.e., item generation, reliability, validity, responsiveness) of measures were compared and evaluated.

RESULTS: Fifty three measures were identified: QOL (n = 25, 47%), self-esteem/concept (n = 15, 28%), mental health (n = 13, 25%). Likert scales were used most frequently to represent response choices (n = 34, 64%). The authors of 11 (21%) measures provided justification for their scale choice. Items were most commonly presented in written format (n = 24, 45%). Item content was generated from the respondent population in only 21 (40%) measures. Twenty-seven (51%) measures reported internal reliability between 0.70 and 0.90, and 12 (23%) reported reproducibility in this range. Although validity was reported for 48 (91%) measures, evidence for three or more aspects occurred for only 9 (17%). Eleven (21%) measures evidenced responsiveness to change.

CONCLUSION: Authors should provide clearer evidence for reliability and responsiveness. Newly developed instruments need to meet established standards, and further studies should assess the impact of scale and presentation types on the psychometrics of measures.
Qual Life Res
0962-9343 (Print)
Publication year:
Functional status:
Cognitive/mental functioning
General health perceptions / HRQoL:
Health-related quality of life
Children (0-18)
Certain conditions originating in the perinatal period and related symptoms
Certain infections and parasitic diseases and related symptoms
Congenital malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities and related symptoms
Diseases of and symptoms related to the blood and blood-forming organs and certain disorders involving the immune mechanism
Diseases of and symptoms related to the circulatory system
Diseases of and symptoms related to the digestive system
Diseases of and symptoms related to the ear and mastoid process
Diseases of and symptoms related to the eye and adnexa
Diseases of and symptoms related to the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue
Diseases of and symptoms related to the nervous system
Diseases of and symptoms related to the respiratory system
Diseases of and symptoms related to the skin and subcutaneous tissue
Endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases and related symptoms
External causes of morbidity and mortality
Injury, poisoning and certain other consequences of external causes
Mental and behavioural disorders and related symptoms
Neoplasms and related symptoms
Symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified
PRO / non-PRO:
Patient Reported Outcome
Type of measurement instrument:
1 - Questionnaires
2 - Interviews
AMA - About my Asthma
Animated computer program
AUQEI - Autoquestionnaire Qualité de Vie Enfant Imagé
BPI - Berkeley puppet interview
CAQ - Childhood Asthma Questionnaires
CDI - Children's Depression Inventory
CDLQI - Children’s Dermatology Life Quality Index – English version (UK)
CFQ - Cystic Fibrosis Questionnaire (versions: CFQ-R - CFQ-revised; 14+ for teens; Adolescents; Child; Parent/proxy)
CHIP-CE - Child Health and Illness Profile-Child Edition
CHRIs - Child Health Rating Inventories
CHSCS - Child’s health self-concept scale
CMFQ - Child Medical fear questionnaire
Competence perceptions subjective task value beliefs
CPSS - Children’s Physical Self-Concept Scale, 27 item
C-QOL - Childrens Quality of Life
Dominic questionnaire-R
DUCATQOL - Dutch children’s quality of life questionnaire
EHRQL - Exeter Health-Related Quality Life Measure
Fear faces scale
GCQ - Generic Children’s Quality of Life Measure
HAY - How Are You
Hospital fears questionnaire
Hospital fears rating scale
Levonn scale
Life Activities Questionnaire for Childhood Asthma
Maryland pre-school self-concept scale-revised
Nordic QOL-Q - Nordic Quality of Life Questionnaire for Children
PAQLQ - Pediatric Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire
PARS III - Personal Adjustment and Role Skills Scale III
PedsQL - Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory
Perez self-concept inventory
Pictorial instrument for child and adolescent psychiatry
Piers preschool pictorial self-concept scale
Preschool and primary self-concept scale
PRQLQ - Pediatric Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire
PSDQ - Physical Self-Description Questionnaire
PSPCSA - Pictorial scale of perceived competence and social acceptance
Puppet interview
Quality of life scale-’Three wishes’ and ‘What worries you most’
RSCS - Reading self-concept scale
SASC - Social Anxiety Scale Child (versions: SASC-R - SASC-revised;
SCAMIN - Self-concept and motivation inventory
Scare scale
SCDI - Short children’s depression inventory
SDQ-I - Self-description questionnaire
SRQ - Children’s self-report questionnaire
SRQ - Shoulder Rating Questionnaire [alias: L'Insalata]