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Original Research: COUGH |

Minimally Important Change in a Parent-Proxy Quality-of-Life Questionnaire for Pediatric Chronic Cough

Peter A. Newcombe, PhD; Jeanie K. Sheffield, PhD; Anne B. Chang, PhD
Author and Funding Information

From the School of Social Work and Applied Human Sciences (Dr Newcombe) and School of Psychology (Drs Newcombe and Sheffield), University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD; Queensland Children’s Respiratory Centre and Queensland Children’s Medical Research Institute (Dr Chang), Royal Children’s Hospital, Brisbane, QLD; and Child Health Division (Dr Chang), Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, NT, Australia.

Correspondence to: Peter Newcombe, PhD, School of Social Work and Applied Human Sciences, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia; e-mail: newc@psy.uq.edu.au


Funding/Support: The study was supported by a Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation grant. Dr Chang is supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council Practitioner Fellowship [Grant 545216].

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (http://www.chestpubs.org/site/misc/reprints.xhtml).


© 2011 American College of Chest Physicians


Chest. 2011;139(3):576-580. doi:10.1378/chest.10-1476
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Background:  The Parent Cough-Specific Quality-of-Life questionnaire (PC-QOL) has relevance and clinical utility as a cough-specific QOL measure for pediatric use. Its validity has been demonstrated. This study sought to determine the minimally important difference (MID) for the PC-QOL completed by parents of young children with chronic cough.

Method:  Thirty-four children (22 boys, 12 girls; median age, 26.5 months; interquartile range, 17.3-38.8 months) and their mothers participated. Mothers completed a cough-related measure (verbal category descriptive score) and the PC-QOL on two occasions separated by 2 to 3 weeks. Two approaches were used to calculate MID.

Results:  Distribution-based approaches to estimating MID resulted in ranges of 0.50 to 0.78 (effect size method), 0.30 to 0.48 (SE of measurement method), and 0.60 to 0.69 (one-half SD method) for PC-QOL overall and domain scales. Based on verbal category descriptive score change, an anchor-based approach resulted in an MID estimate of 0.9 for overall PC-QOL change and ranged from 0.71 to 0.95 for individual domain PC-QOL change.

Conclusion:  An MID for the PC-QOL of 0.9 is recommended in interpreting health status change in children with chronic cough and will aid clinicians and researchers in interpreting health-related QOL changes following treatments and clinical trials.


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