Table 1

The Health Status Questionnaire: criteria for impairment and disability

Domain Key questions Criteria for impairment or disability (criteria for severe disability in bold)
Does the child have a malformation?Any anomaly detected at birth or apparent within the first two postnatal years, which is likely to result in death, disfigurement or disability, and which is likely to require medical or surgical treatment (other than a simple cosmetic procedure)
Any malformation which despite physical assistance impairs the performance of daily activities
Neuromotor function
Does the child have any difficulty walking?Non-fluent gait
Abnormal gait reducing mobility
Unable to walk without assistance
Does the child have any difficulty sitting?Sits unsupported but unstable
Sits supported
Unable to sit
Does the child have any difficulty with hand use?Some difficulty feeding with one hand
Some difficulty feeding with both hands
Unable to use hands to feed self
Does the child have any difficulty with head control?Unstable but no support required
Unable to control head movement without support
No head control
Does the child have seizures?No treatment required
No seizures on treatment
Seizures less than 1/month despite treatment
Seizures more than 1/month despite treatment
Auditory function
Does the child have any difficulty hearing?Hearing impaired, not aided
Hearing impaired, corrects with aids
Hearing impaired, uncorrected even with aids
Is there any difficulty with communication?Unable to comprehend word/sign out of familiar context
Unable to comprehend word/sign in cued situation
Uses single words only/vocabulary >10 words
Vocabulary <10 words
Unable to produce >5 recognisable sounds
No vocalisation
Visual function
Does the child have any difficulty with vision?Normal vision with correction
Not fully correctable
Blind or sees light only
Cognitive function
Does the child have any learning difficulty?Developmental quotient 2 to 3 SD below mean
Developmental quotient >3 SD below mean
Other physical disability
Does the child have any other disability?Limited exercise tolerance, no drug treatment
    RespiratoryLimited exercise tolerance, on drug treatment
Requires continual oxygen therapy
Requires mechanical ventilation
    GastrointestinalRequires special diet
Has stoma
Requires tube feeding
Requires parenteral nutrition
    RenalRenal impairment; no treatment
Renal impairment; drug or dietary treatment only
Requires dialysis
    GrowthHeight or weight 2 to 3 SD below mean for age
Height or weight >3 SD below mean for age