The ARCH Lab recently published a series of three papers in the journal Disability and Rehabilitation, providing a comprehensive examination of the 12-item self-administered World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule (WHODAS) 2.0, one of the most widely used measures of disability and functioning.
This series of publications examined measurement invariance and agreement between parent and youth as well as validating the measure for use with young children, described in greater detail below. All three papers utilized data from the MY LIFE study to demonstrate efficacy of the measure when administered to parents and youth with physical illness living in Canada.
- Young adolescents interpret the items and disability construct similarly to older adolescents and adults in Canada
- Researchers and health professionals can be confident that differences in scores are real and meaningful
- May be used to measure disability across the life-course
- Youth and parents interpret the construct of disability similarly
- Parent-youth agreement was low and youth typically report more disability compared to parent proxies, which reinforces the need for collecting multiple perspectives in the pediatric setting
- More consistent agreement with parents was found for female youth compared to male youth
- WHODAS 2.0 had acceptable inter-item correlations and internal consistency; its factor structure is consistent with previous reports
- Expansion of its use in measuring disability in young children provides the opportunity to use the measure across the life-course, facilitating the interpretation of changes in disability over time or in response to treatment
- Additional research needed to determine responsiveness to change and the minimal clinically important difference of the measure in this population
Overall, this series of papers has added to the body of knowledge on the validity and reliability of the WHODAS 2.0, in a population of young children with chronic physical illness in Canada.