Quality of Life Research

, Volume 20, Issue 6, pp 913–921 | Cite as

PedsQL™ Cognitive Functioning Scale in pediatric liver transplant recipients: feasibility, reliability, and validity

  • James W. Varni
  • Christine A. Limbers
  • Lisa G. Sorensen
  • Katie Neighbors
  • Karen Martz
  • John C. Bucuvalas
  • Estella M. Alonso



The PedsQL™ (Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory™) is a modular instrument designed to measure health-related quality of life and disease-specific symptoms. The PedsQL™ Cognitive Functioning Scale was developed as a brief generic symptom-specific instrument to measure cognitive functioning. The objective of the present study was to determine the feasibility, reliability, and validity of the PedsQL™ Cognitive Functioning Scale in pediatric liver transplant recipients.


The 6-item PedsQL™ Cognitive Functioning Scale and the PedsQL™ 4.0 Generic Core Scales were completed by pediatric liver transplant recipients ages 8–18 years (n = 215) and parents of pediatric liver transplant recipients ages 2–18 years (n = 502). Both patient self-report and parent proxy-report were available for 212 cases. The 72-item Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF), a widely validated measure of executive functioning, was completed by 100 parents and 56 teachers on a subset of patients.


The PedsQL™ Cognitive Functioning Scale demonstrated minimal missing responses (0.0%, child report, 0.67%, parent report), achieved excellent reliability (α = 0.88 child report, 0.94 parent report), distinguished between pediatric patients with liver transplants and healthy children supporting discriminant validity, and was significantly correlated with the PedsQL™ 4.0 Generic Core Scales and the BRIEF supporting construct and concurrent validity, respectively. Pediatric liver transplants recipients experienced cognitive functioning comparable to long-term pediatric cancer survivors.


The results demonstrate the feasibility, reliability, discriminant, construct, and concurrent validity of the PedsQL™ Cognitive Functioning Scale in pediatric liver transplant recipients.


Cognitive functioning PedsQL™ Liver transplant Pediatrics Executive functioning Quality of life 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • James W. Varni
    • 1
  • Christine A. Limbers
    • 2
  • Lisa G. Sorensen
    • 3
  • Katie Neighbors
    • 4
  • Karen Martz
    • 5
  • John C. Bucuvalas
    • 6
  • Estella M. Alonso
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning, College of ArchitectureTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychology and NeuroscienceBaylor UniversityWacoUSA
  3. 3.Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Children’s Memorial HospitalNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA
  4. 4.Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Memorial HospitalNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA
  5. 5.EMMES CorporationRockvilleUSA
  6. 6.Department of PediatricsCincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterCincinnatiUSA

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