Background Growing pains (GP) is a common cause for visiting the paediatrician. Their prevalence remains obscure and a screening questionnaire is not available.
Aim To develop a questionnaire, appropriate for the estimation of GP prevalence in the general children’s population aged 4–7 years old.
Material and methods After review of the literature, a 27–closed type questions with two-answer options (yes-no) questionnaire was developed, including the parameters of localization, duration, intensity and heredity of growing pains. Content validity and test-retest have been examined in a pilot study preceding the present study. The validity of the questionnaire was further studied in a parental population of children aged 4–7 years old, sourced from a randomly selected elementary school in Athens. The reliability was examined by repeated parents response over 3 weeks.
Results 83 questionnaires were filled out. The final version of the questionnaire comprised 21 questions. The mean test-retest reliability was 75.4%, ranging from 0.33–100% (p < 0.001, Cronbach alpha coefficient was equal to 0.68 for total scale, ranging from 0.62–0.82 for the subscales). Construct validity evaluation defined 9 fields incorporating the 21 questions. After excluding low reliability questions, nine items remained in the scale. A cut-off point of ≥8 was finally proposed for the detection and diagnosis of growing pains.
Conclusions We report the development of a reliable and valid questionnaire for GP based on the existing publications. This questionnaire focused on the domains of pain localization, intensity of growing pains and their 24 h temporal distribution.