Quality of Life Research

, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp 881–893 | Cite as

Field testing of a European quality of life instrument for children and adolescents with chronic conditions: the 37-item DISABKIDS Chronic Generic Module

  • Marie-Claude Simeoni
  • Silke Schmidt
  • Holger Muehlan
  • David Debensason
  • Monika Bullinger
Original Paper


Objectives The aim of this study was to shorten the Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQL) DISABKIDS Chronic Generic Measure (DCGM) for children and adolescents and to test its reliability, construct, and external validity. Study design 1153 children and adolescents (8–16 years) with chronic health conditions (asthma, arthritis, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, diabetes, atopic dermatitis, cystic fibrosis) and their family were recruited from different paediatric clinical settings in seven European countries. A two-time assessment comprised reports on sociodemographics, health status and HRQL of children/adolescents. Results The 37-item DCGM describes six dimensions (Independence, Physical Limitation, Emotion, Social Inclusion, Social Exclusion and Treatment) confirmed by Confirmatory Factor Analysis, multi-item scaling and item-goodness of fit to Rasch model. Internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha: 0.70–0.87) and test-retest reliability (ICC: 0.71–0.83) were satisfactory. Correlations between DCGM-37 and other HRQL instruments were the highest between dimensions evaluating similar concepts. Regarding discriminant validity of the DCGM-37, girls and older adolescents reported lower emotional we ll-being. Children belonging to families with low level of affluence and those with severe health conditions were found to have worse HRQL in all domains. Conculsion Reliability, construct validity as well as convergent and discriminant validity of the DCGM-37 were shown.


Children Chronic diseases Cross-cultural Instrument validation Quality of life 



The DISABKIDS project was supported by the European Commission (QLG5-CT-2000-00716) within the Fifth Framework Program “Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources”.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marie-Claude Simeoni
    • 1
    • 3
  • Silke Schmidt
    • 2
  • Holger Muehlan
    • 2
  • David Debensason
    • 1
  • Monika Bullinger
    • 2
    • 1
  1. 1.Public Health DepartmentUniversity Hospital of MarseilleMarseilleFrance
  2. 2.Center of Psychosocial MedicineUniversity Hospital of HamburgHamburgGermany
  3. 3.Faculté de médecineLaboratoire de santé publiqueMarseille cedex 5France

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