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Arch Dis Child. 2002 Jan;86(1):15-20.

The Health Status Questionnaire: achieving concordance with published disability criteria.

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Department of Child Health, University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff, UK.



To compare the Health Status Questionnaire with established methods of assessing disability in preterm and very low birthweight infants.


All survivors of gestational age <31 weeks or birth weight <1500 g, born in 1994 to women resident in Wales were identified. Assessments were by a single observer at a median corrected age of 28.3 months and included the Health Status Questionnaire and a Griffiths developmental test. Outcome was also described according to criteria for disability used in three published studies.


There were 297 survivors of which 279 (94%) were assessed. Using the Health Status Questionnaire, severe disability was found in 12.9% of cases compared to 8.2%, 2.9%, and 3.6% using the Northern, Victorian, and Mersey outcome criteria respectively. Following the simple modifications of removing the growth criteria from the Health Status Questionnaire and reclassifying the severe disability group in the Victorian and Mersey criteria, comparable severe disability rates ranging from 7.9% to 9.3% were found.


The Health Status Questionnaire requires no formal training, is rapid to perform, and with simple modifications provides comparable results to established methods of assessing disability. Its use in the follow up of preterm and very low birthweight infants should be encouraged.

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