Content Validity of Patient-Reported Outcome Instruments used with Pediatric Patients with Facial Differences
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OBJECTIVE: The aim of this systematic review was to identify patient-reported outcome (PRO) instruments used in research with children/youth with conditions associated with facial differences to identify the health concepts measured. DESIGN: MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and PsycINFO were searched from 2004 to 2016 to identify PRO instruments used in acne vulgaris, birthmarks, burns, ear anomalies, facial asymmetries, and facial paralysis patients. We performed a content analysis whereby the items were coded to identify concepts and categorized as positive or negative content or phrasing. RESULTS: A total of 7,835 articles were screened; 6 generic and 11 condition-specific PRO instruments were used in 96 publications. Condition-specific instruments were for acne (four), oral health (two), dermatology (one), facial asymmetries (two), microtia (one), and burns (one). The PRO instruments provided 554 items (295 generic; 259 condition specific) that were sorted into 4 domains, 11 subdomains, and 91 health concepts. The most common domain was psychological (n = 224 items). Of the identified items, 76% had negative content or phrasing (e.g., "Because of the way my face looks I wish I had never been born"). Given the small number of items measuring facial appearance (n = 19) and function (n = 22), the PRO instruments reviewed lacked content validity for patients whose condition impacted facial function and/or appearance. CONCLUSIONS: Treatments can change facial appearance and function. This review draws attention to a problem with content validity in existing PRO instruments. Our team is now developing a new PRO instrument called FACE-Q Kids to address this problem.
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