Pragmatic health assessment in early childhood: The PROMISVR of developmentally based measurement for pediatric psychology

Courtney K. Blackwell, Lauren Wakschlag, Sheila Krogh-Jespersen, Kristin A. Buss, Joan Luby, Katherine Bevans, Jin Shei Lai, Christopher B. Forrest, David Cella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Objective To illustrate the integration of developmental considerations into person-reported outcome (PRO) measurement development for application in early childhood pediatric psychology. Methods Combining the state-of-the-science Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement Information System (PROMISVR ) mixed-methods instrument development approach with considerations from developmental measurement science, we developed 12 PROMIS early childhood (PROMIS EC) parent report measures to evaluate common mental, social, and physical health outcomes for ages 1-5. Through this interdisciplinary effort, we identified key considerations for early childhood PROs that enable reliable and valid assessment within the real-world constraints of clinical care settings. Results Four key considerations are highlighted as key to this process: (a) Engage diverse content experts to identify meaningful and relevant constructs; (b) Balance salient features for early childhood with lifespan coherence of constructs; (c) Emphasize observable features across the typical/atypical spectrum; and (d) Ensure feasibility and relevancy for clinical and research application. Each consideration is discussed using exemplars from the PROMIS EC measurement development process. Conclusions PROMIS EC provides an illustration of how well-established PRO measures for youth can be adapted for younger children by incorporating developmental considerations. This process and resulting key considerations provide clinicians and researchers in the field of pediatric psychology with guidance for adapting PROs to early childhood, enabling critical continuity in domains of high salience to pediatric psychologists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-318
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of pediatric psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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