Development and Pilot Testing a Self-Reported Pediatric PROMIS App for Young Children Aged 5–7 Years


      • Parent reports cannot be substituted for child reports.
      • If an age-appropriate instrument was provided, young children also could report their own perception of health.
      • This smartphone application and its Web-based administration portal demonstrate good usability.
      • This animated application can be used as a smart measurement to investigate the symptoms for young children aged 5–7 years.



      The aims of this study are threefold. Firstly, Using the state of science PROMIS (Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System) methods to develop a smartphone application to monitor the emotional distress for young children aged 5–7 years old; Secondly, to test the usability of this application; and thirdly, to determine the level of agreement between reports by parents and young children's self-report.

      Design and methods

      A multidisciplinary research team, made up of senior pediatric nurses and doctors, software engineers' team, and pediatric health researchers worked together to develop this application. Three phases of stakeholders and user studies were conducted. Phase 1 focused on prototype development; Phase 2 involved cognitive interview and usability testing; Phases 3 focused on the pilot testing of this application.


      We included the original parent proxy reporting version of Patient Reported Outcome Measurement Information System-emotional distress in the application, as well as self-reporting animated version for young children. After many rounds of modification, all participants felt that this application was easy to use and the animated items were easy to understand for young children aged 5–7 years. Correlations between parents-children reports are significant and moderate, parents underestimated child depression, and overestimated child anger and anxiety compared to child self-report.


      This smartphone application and its Web-based administration portal demonstrate good usability and are well accepted by young children aged 5–7 years, which can be used to promote young children's participation when reporting or assessing symptoms of young pediatric patients.

      Practice implications

      Parent reports cannot be substituted for child reports and evaluations of pediatric patients' perspectives regarding treatment outcomes should be included in pediatric clinic. This animated application can be used as a smart measurement to investigate the symptoms for young children aged 5–7 years, so as to amplify young children's voice in clinical care.


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