Health of children with chronic arthritis: Relationship of different measures and the quality of parent proxy reporting




To examine the strength of the association between different measures of health-related quality of life (HRQOL), disability, pain, and well-being in children with chronic arthritis. To evaluate whether HRQOL scores vary as a function of disability status beyond chance. To assess the quality of the parent proxy report for HRQOL as compared with disability, pain, and well-being.


Measures of HRQOL (visual analog scale [VAS] of health, Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory [PedsQL], Juvenile Arthritis Quality of Life Questionnaire (JAQQ), and modified standard gamble technique [SG]), disability (Childhood Health Assessment Questionnaire), VAS of pain, and VAS of well-being (VAS-well) were completed by the parents (n = 119) and patients ≥8 years (SG: ≥12 years).


HRQOL was highest when measured by the SG, whose utilities were no more than weakly correlated with any of the other outcomes. The values of all other HRQOL measures were at least moderately correlated with each other and with the VAS-well. Irrespective of the measure used, disability was associated with significantly decreased HRQOL. There was fair to good agreement and moderate consistency of the HRQOL ratings (SG: fair consistency) between patients and parents with marked differences between health domains.


HRQOL measured by the PedsQL, JAQQ, and VAS are moderately to highly correlated with each other in children with chronic arthritis. The children's HRQOL significantly decreases with increasing disability. Despite more pronounced differences for some health domains, parents are moderate to good proxy reporters of HRQOL, disability, and well-being of children with chronic arthritis.