Development and validation of the Early Pediatric Groningen Defecation and Fecal Continence questionnaire

Sanne J. Verkuijl*, Monika Trzpis, Paul M.A. Broens

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)
    43 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    There are no compatible tools that assess bowel function in young children, older children, and adults. This precludes clinical follow-up and longitudinal scientific research. Our aim was therefore to develop and validate a bowel function questionnaire equivalent to the pediatric (8–17 years) and adult (≥ 18 years) Groningen Defecation and Fecal Continence (DeFeC) questionnaires for children from the age of 1 month to 7 years. We developed, validated, and translated the Early Pediatric Groningen DeFeC (EP-DeFeC) questionnaire according to the Consensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement Instruments (COSMIN). The EP-DeFeC incorporates different validated bowel function scoring systems, including the Rome IV criteria that are also included in the pediatric and adult DeFeC. We assessed feasibility and reproducibility by a test–retest survey. The study population (N = 100) consisted of the parents/caregivers of children whose median age was 4.0 (IQR 2.0–5.0) years. The mean interval between testing and retesting was 2.7 ± 1.1 months. None of the respondents commented on ambiguities regarding the questions. The overall median time taken to complete the EP-DeFeC was 8.7 min (IQR 6.8–11.8). The overall observed agreement was 78.9% with an overall kappa coefficient of 0.51, indicating moderate agreement. Conclusion: The EP-DeFeC is a feasible, reproducible, and validated questionnaire for assessing bowel function in children from the age of 1 month to 7 years. If used in combination with its pediatric (8–17 years) and adult (≥ 18 years) equivalents, this questionnaire enables longitudinal follow-up of bowel function from infancy to adulthood.What is Known:• Bowel function problems are common among young children.• Unfortunately, there are no compatible tools that assess bowel function in young children, older children, and adults, which precludes clinical follow-up and longitudinal scientific research.What is New:• The Early Pediatric Groningen Defecation and Fecal Continence (EP-DeFeC) questionnaire is validated to assess bowel function in children from the age of 1 month to 7 years.• If used together with its pediatric and adult equivalents, longitudinal follow-up of bowel function from infancy to adulthood becomes possible.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)615–623
    JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
    Early online date21-Nov-2022
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2023

    Keywords

    • Constipation
    • Gastrointestinal
    • Incontinence
    • Infant
    • Toddler

    Cite this