Background The most common condition treated by paediatric neurosurgeons is hydrocephalus. Despite having significant improvements in treatment and management, hydrocephalus continues to have a considerable impact on the long-term outcome in children. The objective of designing Electronic Integrated Text, Visual and Audio Questionnaire (EITVAQ) was to develop a child-friendly tool, anticipating it will be a better tool to measure child health status from a child’s perspective.
Methods This was a prospective crossover pilot study that compared the outcome and completion rate between EITVAQ and a printed text 2-paged paper questionnaire (TEXT). Children with hydrocephalus from 8 years old to 16 years old were invited to participate in this study from November 2015 to June 2016. EITVAQ was created to be visual and audio automated using macrosenabled function in Microsoft PowerPoint. Time of completion for each format was recorded. All data were compiled and organised for statistical analysis using Software Package using Statistical Analysis (SPSS).
Findings 24 children participated in this study. There was a 100% completion rate for EITVAQ with only 37.5% completing the TEXT format. The mean time to complete EITVAQ was 7 min and the mean time for TEXT was 15 min. The mean score for EITVAQ was was 16% higher in comparison to a mean score of HOQ completed by proxy. The result suggested participants with more surgical procedures tend to have a higher incompletion rate of TEXT format by 18.9%. However, there was no correlation found between GMFCS score and the incompletion rate. Such results suggested that the incompletion rate in TEXT format is likely secondary to a central cause rather than a physical cause.
Conclusions In this study, the results supported that EITVAQ is a better tool to evaluate the health status of paediatric hydrocephalus patients. Such encouraging results call for future research in this area to develop EITVAQ as a validated tool and to be used widespread across hydrocephalus patients to identify health status issues, to enable them to access appropriate early intervention and to improve their quality of life.
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