Patient-reported outcome measures in pediatric epilepsy: A content analysis using World Health Organization definitions
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OBJECTIVE: Patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures that assess the effect of epilepsy on children's lives include the concepts of health, health-related quality of life (HRQOL), and quality of life (QOL). They also contain varied health and health-related content. Our objectives were to identify what generic and epilepsy-specific PRO instruments are used in childhood epilepsy research and to make explicit their conceptual approach and biopsychosocial content. METHODS: MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PsycINFO were searched from 2001 to 2011 for PRO measures used in pediatric epilepsy. Measures were analyzed on an item-by-item basis according to World Health Organization (WHO) definitions of QOL and the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health for Children and Youth (ICF-CY) biopsychosocial health framework to distinguish the conceptual approach within each measure. The health content analysis coded each item according to specific ICF-CY components of body function, activity and participation, environment, or personal factors to determine the health content for each measure. RESULTS: Three generic and 13 epilepsy-specific PRO measures were identified; 10 of 16 measures utilized a biopsychosocial health approach rather than an HRQOL or QOL approach. Content analysis showed that in 11 of 16 measures, >25% of the items represented participation and activity components of the ICF-CY, whereas a high proportion of environment items were found in only one epilepsy-specific measure. SIGNIFICANCE: This comprehensive review provides information aiding clinicians and researchers in the selection of the appropriate PRO instruments for children with epilepsy on the basis of content. Most epilepsy-specific and generic PROs use a biopsychosocial health approach as opposed to a subjective HRQOL/QOL approach to measurement. Clinicians and researchers must be aware of these concepts and content when intending to measure outcomes validly.
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