The PedsQLTM 4.0 as a School Population Health Measure: Feasibility, Reliability, and Validity Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: The application of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) as a school population health measure may facilitate risk assessment and resource allocation, the tracking of student health at the school and district level, the identification of health disparities among schoolchildren, and the determination of health outcomes from interventions and policy decisions at the school, district, and county level. OBJECTIVE: To determine the feasibility, reliability, and validity of the 23-item PedsQL 4.0 (Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory) Generic Core Scales as a school population health measure for children and adolescents. DESIGN: Survey conducted in 304 classes at 18 elementary schools, 4 middle schools, and 3 high schools within a large metropolitan school district. METHODS: The PedsQL 4.0 Generic Core Scales (Physical, Emotional, Social, School Functioning) were completed by 2437 children ages 8-18 and 4227 parents of children ages 5-18. RESULTS: The PedsQL 4.0 evidenced minimal missing responses, achieved excellent reliability for the Total Scale Score (alpha = 0.89 child, 0.92, parent report), and distinguished between healthy children and children with chronic health conditions. The PedsQL 4.0 was related to indicators of socioeconomic status (SES) at the school and district level. The PedsQL School Functioning Scale was significantly correlated with standardized achievement scores based on the Stanford 9. CONCLUSION: The results demonstrate the feasibility, reliability and validity of the PedsQL 4.0 Generic Core Scales as a school population health measure. The implications of measuring HRQOL in schoolchildren at the school, district, and county level for identifying and ameliorating health disparities are discussed.

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Varni, J. W., Burwinkle, T. M., & Seid, M.

citation count

  • 305

complete list of authors

  • Varni, James W||Burwinkle, Tasha M||Seid, Michael

publication date

  • March 2006