child, content expert, content validity, measurement



  1. Stewart, Janet L.
  2. Lynn, Mary R.
  3. Mishel, Merle H.


Background: The development and evaluation of instruments to index cognitive and emotional processes from the perspectives of children is a priority for pediatric nursing research.


Objective: To describe the procedures used in employing children as content validity experts in the development of a self-report instrument.


Methods: Following published recommendations for moving from qualitative research to quantitative measurement with adults and for maximizing content validity in self-report instruments, six children aged 8-16 years undergoing treatment for cancer constituted the panel of content experts for review of a measure of children's illness-related uncertainty derived from qualitative interviews. Children were provided with an explanation of the project, an explanation of their role as experts, and explicit instructions on how to evaluate the representativeness of individual items and the total scale.


Results: Generally, the children performed the review tasks effectively, although two children (ages 8 and 16 years) had initial difficulty in going beyond their own experience when considering the relevance of individual items. Twenty items were deemed acceptable by at least five out of the six children and two additional items were revised based on their input.


Discussion: Employing children as content validity experts adds a critical dimension to establishing psychometrically sound measures for studying the processes affecting the health of children and families.