, Volume 15, Issue 6, pp 1023-1031

Associations between a functional independence measure (WeeFIM) and the pediatric quality of life inventory (PedsQL4.0) in young children with physical disabilities

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Objectives: To determine the association between functional status, measured by the WeeFIM and health-related quality of life (HRQL), measured by the PedsQL4.0 for children with physical disabilities. To explore child, parent and service-related factors associated with each of these measures. Patients: Parents of 115 children (2–5 years) with physical disabilities who were referred to occupational (OT) or physical therapy (PT). Mean age of the children was 3 years 7 months (±10 months), 79 were boys and 67 were diagnosed with global developmental delay. Results: Children had more difficulties with self-care tasks and cognitive abilities, as compared to mobility activities on the WeeFIM. The correlation between total WeeFIM and total PedsQL4.0 was r = 0.39. WeeFIM mobility and self-care quotients were each fairly correlated with PedsQL-Physical Health Summary Score (r s = 0.29 and r s = 0.28 respectively). There was no significant association between WeeFIM cognition quotient and each of PedsQL scores (r s = 0.03–0.05). The receipt of PT services was highly associated (p<0.001) with lower scores on the PedsQL-Physical Health Summary score, PedsQL-Total score, and WeeFIM mobility quotient. Conclusion: The WeeFIM and the PedsQL4.0 appear to assess related but different constructs, supporting the need to incorporate complementary measures when measuring general health of children with disabilities.