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Authors Vinney LA, Grade JD, Connor NP
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Journal J Commun Disord Volume: 45 Issue: 1 Pages: 12-9
Publish Date 2012 Jan-Feb
PubMed ID 22078417
PMC ID 3251728
Abstract

The manner in which a communication disorder affects health-related quality of life (QOL) in children is not known. Unfortunately, collection of quality of life data via traditional paper measures is labor intensive and has several other limitations, which hinder the investigation of pediatric quality of life in children. Currently, there is not sufficient research regarding the use of electronic devices to collect pediatric patient reported outcomes in order to address such limitations. Thus, we used a cross-over design to compare responses to a pediatric health quality of life instrument (PedsQL 4.0) delivered using a handheld electronic device to those from a traditional paper form. Respondents were children with (n=9) and without (n=10) a speech or voice disorder. For paper versus the electronic format, we examined time to completion, number of incomplete or inaccurate question responses, intra-rater reliability, ease of use, and child and parent preference. There were no significant differences between children’s scores, time to complete the measure, or ratings related to ease of answering questions. The percentage of children who made answering errors or omissions with paper and pencil was significantly greater than the percentage of children who made such errors using the device. This preliminary study demonstrated that use of an electronic device to collect QOL or patient-reported outcomes (PRO) data from children is more efficient than and just as feasible, reliable, and acceptable as using paper forms. The development of hardware and software applications for the collection of QOL and/or PRO data in children with speech disorders is likely warranted.The reader will be able to understand: (1) The potential benefits of using electronic data capture via handheld devices for collecting pediatric patient reported outcomes; (2) The Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory 4.0 is a measure of the perception of general health quality that has distinguished between healthy children and those with chronic health conditions; (3) Past research in communication disorders indicates that voice and speech disorders may impact quality of life in children; (4) Based on preliminary data, electronic collection of patient reported outcomes in children with and without speech/voice disorders is more efficient and equally feasible, reliable, and acceptable when compared to paper forms.

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