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02-09-2016 | Brief Communication | Uitgave 1/2017 Open Access

Quality of Life Research 1/2017

Dutch normative data and psychometric properties for the Distress Thermometer for Parents

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 1/2017
Hedy A. van Oers, Sasja A. Schepers, Martha A. Grootenhuis, Lotte Haverman
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The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s11136-016-1405-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



The aim of this study was to provide Dutch normative data for the Distress Thermometer for Parents (DT-P) and to assess internal consistency and known-groups validity.


A sample of 1421 parents (60.7 % mothers), representative of the Dutch population, completed online sociodemographic questionnaire and the DT-P, which includes a thermometer (0 (no distress) to 10 (extreme distress), ≥4 clinically elevated distress) and everyday problems across six problem domains (practical, social, emotional, physical, cognitive, and parenting). Internal consistency was calculated using Cronbach’s alphas. Known-groups validity was assessed by comparing parents of a child with a chronic condition (N = 287, 20.2 %) with parents of healthy children, using Mann–Whitney U tests and Chi-square tests.


The DT-P showed acceptable internal consistency (Cronbach’s alphas = .52–.89). Parents of a child with a chronic condition more often reported clinically elevated distress than parents of healthy children (53.0 versus 38.2 %, p < .001). Also, on all domains they reported more problems (p = .000–.022). Normative scores for mothers and fathers separately were provided.


The DT-P distinguishes well between parents of a child with and without a chronic condition. With the current norms available, distress can be evaluated in parents of a child with a chronic condition compared to parents of healthy children in pediatric clinical practice.

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