Describing your health today: analysis of open answers in the validation procedure of the Italian EQ-5D(CHILD) version
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OBJECTIVES: To describe children’s views about their Quality of Life (QoL) by means of open-answers, as a part of the validation procedure of the Italian version of EQ-5D(child), within the EuroQoL child-task-force. METHODS: In total, 415 valid children/adolescents sampled from general population (aged 8–15) self-completed a set of instruments/questions including EQ-5D(child), and were asked: a) to explain why they reported having some/a lot of difficulties at each EQ-5D profile domain (if they had), and b) if not, to imagine why youths aged like them might report having difficulties. Textual corpus resulting from open answers was submitted to multiple correspondence analysis (MCA), to show relationships of proximity/distance between the semantic fields associated with each domain. RESULTS: The first factor extracted by MCA (inertia explained: 38.17%) discriminates between words related to the domain 5 (Feeling Worry, Sad or Unhappy: school troubles, relationships with friends, illness/ death of close relatives) vs. words related to domain 1 (Mobility: physical impairments, fractures, sprains). The second and the third factors (inertia: 28.83% and 19.89%) discriminate between causes of difficulties at domain 2 (Taking care of myself: mental or physical disabilities) vs. domain 4 (Having pain or discomfort: head-ache, stomach-ache, accident). The last factor illustrates difficulties related to domain 3 (Doing usual activities: tiredness because of sports training, excess of daily commitments, lack of willingness). CONCLUSION: Results show that the current version of EQ-5D(child) profile captures a variety of semantic fields related to children’s well-being, discriminating in particular between social/relational vs. physical aspects of QoL. Analysis of open-answers in the validation project for EQ-5D(child) is allowing the EuroQoL child-task-force to optimize validity and reliability of this instrument for the assessment of QoL in paediatric population.