Development of a quality of life measure for children and young people with speech, language, and communication needs

Chris Markham, Darren Van Laar, Taraneh Dean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Children's speech and language difficulties affect more than their communication skills, impacting on their experience at school, relationships, and later employment opportunities. These wider sequelae, arguably, contribute to a child's quality of life (QoL), which is routinely measured in the care and research of other childhood conditions, but no measures exist for children's communication needs. Using a psychometric approach, a new QoL measure for children with speech, language, and communication needs was developed. Pretesting produced a clinically acceptable measure, which was then completed by 303 children and young people with speech, language, and communication needs (SLCNs) in a field test. This field test provided a psychometric basis for the reduction of items in the measure into statistically coherent subscales. The “Paediatric Speech and Language QoL” Scale (Ped SaL QoL) appears to be an acceptable, reliable, and valid measure of condition specific QoL for children with SLCNs. It would seem to have potential for use in both clinical practice and investigations of treatments in speech and language therapy. Further testing in larger, more representative samples of children with SLCNs is needed to further establish its reliability and validity and its potential for use as an outcome measure in clinical trials. Source of funding: The research was funded by the National Institute for Health Research Grant RDA 01/05. The research was conducted according to the Declaration of Helsinki and received a favorable opinion from a National Health Service Research Committee (Rec. No. Q1701/47).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-225
Number of pages10
JournalEvidence-Based Communication Assessment and Intervention
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

Keywords

  • Children
  • Communication needs
  • Measure
  • Quality of life

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