PedsQL™ Gastroparesis Symptoms Module Domain and Item Development: Qualitative Methods

J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2021 Apr 5. doi: 10.1097/MPG.0000000000003146.Online ahead of print.

James W Varni 1, Robert J Shulman, Mariella M Self, Liz Febo-Rodriguez, Heather Charron, Kent Williams, Sam Nurko, Bruno P Chumpitazi, Gastroparesis Research Consortium (GpCRC)


Author information

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning, College of Architecture, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Children's Nutrition Research Center, Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, TX Departments of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, TX Department of Pediatrics, University of Miami, Miami, FL Department of Pediatrics, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH Department of Pediatrics, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA.


Objectives: Like adults, children suffer from gastroparesis. However, there are currently no validated instruments to determine the impact of gastroparesis in pediatric patients. The objective of this study was to develop the items and domains to support the content validity of the new Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory™ (PedsQL™) Gastroparesis Symptoms Module.

Methods: Patients were recruited from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Pediatric Gastroparesis Registry. The qualitative methods involved an iterative process comprising a literature review of existing questionnaires and gastroparesis clinical research, an expert review panel of pediatric gastroenterologists who provided feedback on the conceptual framework in developing the semi-structured interview, and in-depth focus interviews with six pediatric patients with gastroparesis and five of their parents (one did not participate) in developing relevant domains and item content. In the subsequent cognitive interviews phase, five additional patients with gastroparesis and their parents provided detailed feedback on item content, relevance, importance, and understandability of the domains and items.

Results: Ten domains/scales were derived from the qualitative methods, with item content saturation achieved at 67 items, with no further themes or content identified during the final cognitive interviews. The Module is comprised of 10 individual scales measuring nausea, stomach fullness when eating, vomiting, dry heaves, heartburn and reflux, stomach pain and hurt, food and drink limits, bloating, appetite, and worry.

Conclusions: Our study supports the content validity of the new PedsQL™ Gastroparesis Symptoms Module. The Module field test study will be conducted in a multisite national study.

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