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Systematic Review

Quality of patient-reported outcomes used for quality of life, physical function, and functional capacity in trials of childhood fractures

a systematic review using the COSMIN checklist

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This study evaluates the quality of patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) reported in childhood fracture trials and recommends outcome measures to assess and report physical function, functional capacity, and quality of life using the COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement INstruments (COSMIN) standards.


A Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA)-compliant systematic review of OVID Medline, Embase, and Cochrane CENTRAL was performed to identify all PROMs reported in trials. A search of OVID Medline, Embase, and PsycINFO was performed to identify all PROMs with validation studies in childhood fractures. Development studies were identified through hand-searching. Data extraction was undertaken by two reviewers. Study quality and risk of bias was evaluated by COSMIN guidelines and recorded on standardized checklists.


Searches yielded 13,672 studies, which were screened to identify 124 trials and two validation studies. Review of the 124 trials identified 16 reported PROMs, of which two had validation studies. The development papers were retrieved for all PROMs. The quality of the original development studies was adequate for Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Mobility and Upper Extremity and doubtful for the EuroQol Five Dimension Youth questionnaire (EQ-5D-Y). All other PROMs were found to have inadequate development studies. No content validity studies were identified. Reviewer-rated content validity was acceptable for six PROMs: Activity Scale for Kids (ASK), Childhood Health Assessment Questionnaire, PROMIS Upper Extremity, PROMIS Mobility, EQ-5D-Y, and Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL4.0). The Modified Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (DASH) questionnaire was shown to have indeterminate reliability and convergence validity in one study and PROMIS Upper Extremity had insufficient convergence validity in one study.


There is insufficient evidence to recommend strongly the use of any single PROM to assess and report physical function or quality of life following childhood fractures. There is a need to conduct validation studies for PROMs. In the absence of these studies, we cautiously recommend the use of the PROMIS or ASK-P for physical function and the PedsQL4.0 or EQ-5D-Y for quality of life.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2020;102-B(12):1599–1607.

Correspondence should be sent to Ben Arthur Marson. E-mail:

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