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J Pediatr Orthop. 2011 Mar;31(2):180-5. doi: 10.1097/BPO.0b013e3182093f9f.

Measuring quality of life in children with early onset scoliosis: development and initial validation of the early onset scoliosis questionnaire.

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Division of Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Columbia University , Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA.



Treatment of children with early onset scoliosis (EOS) seeks to improve natural history and health related quality of life (QOL). QOL measurement presents a significant challenge given the young age, comorbidities, and heterogeneity of this population. The purpose of this study is to develop a disease specific measure reflecting issues of importance to EOS patients and caretakers that is responsive to clinical and treatment changes.


Review of the literature and relevant measures informed development of semistructured qualitative interviews. Interviews of caregivers of EOS patients were interpreted through the framework technique. A masterlist of 75 items was created and responses were scaled on a 5-point Likert scale. Psychometric analysis was carried out to group items into domains, to maintain score distribution, to create a responsive instrument, and to identify question redundancy.


Content validation showed 8 items with low content validity indices (<0.70). Item distribution analysis showed 19 items with skewed distribution. Item reliability showed redundant items within domains (r≥0.5). Construct validity showed unique domains measuring intended issues of interest. The resulting Early Onset Scoliosis Questionnaire (EOSQ) includes 33 items in 13 domains: General Health, Pain, Physical Function, Pulmonary Function, Daily Living, Fatigue, Emotion, Surgical Concerns, Satisfaction, Transfer, Financial Burden, Parental Burden, and Treatment Outcomes.


The EOSQ reflects QOL and caregiver burden in the EOS population. The EOSQ will expand options for outcome assessment in this unique population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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