The reliability and validity of children’s and adolescents’ self-reported health

Katherine B. Bevans and Christopher B. Forrest

in Economic Evaluation in Child Health

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780199547494
Published online February 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191720055 | DOI:
 The reliability and validity of children’s and adolescents’ self-reported health

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This chapter argues that obtaining children's direct reports of wellbeing, symptoms, strengths, and needs using developmentally appropriate strategies is an essential component of thorough and accurate health status assessment. Failure to do so devalues children's perspectives on their own health and results in the loss of essential information. Evidence is reviewed that demonstrates that children are reliable and accurate reporters of their health status when assessment methodologies are sensitive to their cognitive competencies and to their understanding of health and illness. Topics discussed include general cognitive competencies, children's understanding of health and illness concepts, assessment instruments, proxy measures of child health status, and the reliability and validity of children's self-reports of quality of life. The chapter ends with recommendations for health status assessment in children at various developmental levels.

Keywords: self-report; reliability; validity; health status assessment; cognitive competencies; proxy measures; quality of life assessment

Chapter.  8553 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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