ISOQOL press release (Nov 2001). Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
The KIDSCREEN project: Screening and promotion of quality of life in children and adolescents - an European public health perspective.
Within the 5th Framework-Programme ‘Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources’ a large European project, the KIDSCREEN project, as presented during the International Society for Quality of Life Annual Meeting, is funded by the European Commission for three years. KIDSCREEN started in February 2001, involving seven European countries: Austria, Germany, France, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom *.
While several European countries have recently included health-related quality of life in representative surveys of the adult population, surveys including children and adolescents are relatively rare in the European community and do not include self perceived health. Cross-cultural aspects of health related quality of life in children have so far not been addressed. An appropriate way of ensuring that measures on subjective health perception are appropriate for use in cross-cultural research are to develop the measure simultaneously in several countries.
This is the approach taken by members of the KIDSCREEN project, a collaborative effort between researchers to develop, test and implement a measure of health-related quality of life for children and adolescents which can be used in public health surveys throughout Europe. By including the measure in health services research and health reporting the KIDSCREEN project also aims at identifying children at risk at terms of their subjective health to suggest early intervention possibilities.
The development of this new measure involves several stages. In its questionnaire development phase KIDSCREEN works with literature reviews, expert consultation and children’s focus groups Europe wide to identify dimensions and items of quality of life. According to international guidelines the measure is translated into the languages of the participating countries. The KIDSCREEN measure will be of generic nature, will be applicable for children 8 to 17 years in different national and cultural contexts, comply with quality standards in instrument development and be practical (e.g. short and easy to use and score). In its testing phase the measure is, after pilot testing, used in representative mail and telephone surveys in over 12.000 children and parents in Europe together with assessments of determinants of health. The final analysis involves national and European cross cultural comparison of the instrument.
European and national norm data will be provided. In its implementation phase the instrument accompanied by users guides and manuals, is made available to public via modern communication technologies and will be implemented in health monitoring.
It is expected that the KIDSCREEN project will contribute to a better understanding of perceived health in children and adolescents in Europe and will contribute to planning, carrying out and evaluating innovations in the health care field. The KIDSCREEN project can be found at http://www.kidscreen.org.
* The project is coordinated by Prof. Dr. Ulrike Ravens-Sieberer, MPH.
The European project partners are: Prof. Dr. T. Abel (University of Bern, Switzerland), Prof. Dr. P. Auquier (University of Marseille, France), Dr. J. Bruil (TNO Prevention and Health, Leiden, The Netherlands), Dr. W. Dür (University of Vienna, Austria), Dr. B.-M. Kurth (Robert Koch Institute Berlin, Germany), Prof. Dr. M. Power (University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom), and Prof. Dr. L. Rajmil (Catalan Agency for Health Technology, Barcelona, Spain).