Objectives: This study explores several variables of the EQ-5D child version, a multi-attribute utility instrument, in children with chronic conditions.
Methods: A convenience sample was selected from hospital outpatient records and school records. The sample included children aged 7–18 years with the following chronic conditions: asthma, rheumatic disorders, diabetes, and speech/language and/or hearing disorders. The practicality, convergent validity, and discriminant power were compared with a generic quality of life questionnaire for children (TACQOL) and the 2-week test–retest reliability was assessed.
Results: A total of 182 children or their parents completed the first questionnaire and 161 children/parents completed both questionnaires. The practicality of the EQ-5D was good. Low to moderate correlations were found between the utilities and VAS scores and the TACQOL scales. The discriminant power of the EQ-5D items was low overall and was greater for children with a rheumatic disorder than for children with the other conditions. In the subset of children who experienced no health change between the test and the retest, the reliability of the EQ-5D was moderate to high.
Conclusions: The EQ-5D seems suitable for children, although the use of an additional disease-specific questionnaire is still recommended. The EQ-5D seems the most suitable for children with a chronic physical condition and appears to be reliable for children with a stable health status.