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PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e57725. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0057725. Epub 2013 Mar 7.

Validation of the "World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule for children, WHODAS-Child" in Rwanda.

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Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.



The World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule for children (WHODAS-Child) is a disability assessment instrument based on the WHO's International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health for children and youth. It is modified from the original adult version specifically for use with children. The aim of this study was to assess the WHODAS-Child structure and metric properties in a community sample of children with and without reported psychosocial problems in rural Rwanda.


The WHODAS-Child was first translated into Kinyarwanda through a detailed committee translation process and back-translation. Cognitive interviewing was used to assess the comprehension of the translated items. Test-retest reliability was assessed in a group of 64 children. The translated WHODAS-Child was then administered to a final sample of 367 children in southern Kayonza district in rural southeastern Rwanda within a larger psychosocial assessment battery. The latent structure was assessed through confirmatory factor analysis. Reliability was evaluated in terms of internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha) and test-retest reliability (Pearson's correlation coefficient). Construct validity was explored by examining convergence between WHODAS-Child scores and mental disorder status, and divergence of WHODAS-Child scores with protective factors and prosocial behaviors. Concordance between parent and child scores was also assessed.


The six-factor structure of the WHODAS-Child was confirmed in a population sample of Rwandan children. Test-retest and inter-rater reliability were high (r = .83 and ICC = .88). WHODAS-Child scores were moderately positively correlated with presence of depression (r = .42, p<.001) and post-traumatic stress disorder (r = .31, p<.001) and moderately negatively correlated with prosocial behaviors (r = .47, p<.001). The Kinyarwanda version of the WHODAS-Child was found to be a reliable and acceptable self-report tool for assessment of functional impairment among children largely referred for psychosocial problems in the study district in rural Rwanda. Further research in low-resource settings and with more general populations is recommended.

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