Date of Award

Fall 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Rehabilitation Science


Peter Rosenbaum




Background: Health status and quality of life (QOL) instruments developed for children were created with many different conceptual perspectives. These perspectives were based on contextual understandings of the terms health and QOL at different points in time. As a result, there is a wide variety in the perspectives, health and life domains that are measured with these instruments.

Purpose: This thesis is dedicated to resolving conceptual inconsistencies that arise from various instruments using content analysis techniques.

Method: A method for analyzing the content of self-report instruments has been created and validated for adult measures. This method uses the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) as the conceptual framework and the standard terminology to code each item from each instrument. Content analysis using this method will be reviewed, revised and validated for child health status and QOL instruments.

Results: The content analysis method was revised to resolve issues regarding the perspective of instruments (e.g. health status versus QOL). Once applied to child self-report instruments, many inconsistencies between measures and their application were discovered.

Discussion: The field of child health and QOL measurement applies and interprets the use of health status and QOL instruments inconsistently and this impacts upon content validity. Additionally, the repercussions of conceptual inconsistencies have an important effect on consequential validity in child health.

McMaster University Library

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