T.H. Chan School of Medicine Student Publications


PedsQL correlates to PODCI in pediatric orthopaedic outpatient clinic

Student Author(s)

Zainab Abdul-Rahim

UMMS Affiliation

School of Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Orthopedics | Pediatrics


PURPOSE: Quality-of-life (QOL) measures can be a valuable tool to assess the general welfare across a spectrum of patients in a pediatric orthopaedic outpatient clinic and can be a simple way to assess patient-based outcomes particularly for quality initiatives. The Pediatric Outcomes Data Collection Instrument (PODCI) is validated for many orthopaedic conditions but typically takes around 20 minutes to complete (86 questions). The Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) takes < 4 minutes to complete (23 questions) but has not been assessed in an orthopaedic setting. We initiated this study to find the best method for assessing QOL in our outpatient clinic. A short pediatric QOL measure that is correlated to an established orthopaedic-specific QOL measure is needed; therefore, we compared the PedsQL to the PODCI in the outpatient orthopaedic clinic.

METHODS: This was a quality initiative project and as such did not require a priori IRB approval. Families of patients 2 to 18 years old who presented for follow-up after upper or lower extremity fractures or brachial plexus injuries in the orthopaedic clinic from October 2010 through August 2011 were asked to fill out both the PODCI and the PedsQL. Patients aged 5 years and older filled out a patient-report PedsQL; patients aged 11 years and older filled out the patient-report PODCI. Parents/guardians completed questionnaires for children of all ages. Most fracture patients (and/or their parent/guardian) repeated the questionnaires after 6 to 12 weeks. Data were then assessed for correlation between the PODCI and PedsQL.

RESULTS: A total of 428 parent/guardian reports for 283 patients and 172 self-reports for 104 patients were included. The correlation between the PODCI Global score and the PedsQL Total score for the parent/guardian-reported questionnaires for all injuries was 0.77 (95% confidence interval, 0.72-0.82). When categorized within domains and injuries, parent/guardian-reported correlations ranged from 0.23 to 0.79. In patients aged 11 years and older, the correlation between the PODCI and PedsQL for the patient-reported questionnaire for all injuries was 0.85 (95% confidence interval, 0.80-0.89). When categorized within domains and injuries, patient-reported correlations ranged from 0.30 to 0.99.

CONCLUSIONS: Utilizing the substantially shorter PedsQL in a high volume orthopaedic clinic as a substitute for the PODCI for quality improvement measures seems reasonable. Correlation between the PedsQL Global score and the PODCI Total score for orthopaedic patients is strong. Utilizing the patient-reported questionnaires when age appropriate is best. In this era of increased outcome reporting, PedsQL may be a valuable tool.

DOI of Published Version



J Pediatr Orthop. 2014 Sep;34(6):e22-6. DOI: 10.1097/BPO.0000000000000202

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of pediatric orthopedics

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID